June 27 (UPI) — There should be a record number of air travelers in the United States Friday — ahead of the July 4th holiday, the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said the agency screens about 2.2 million passengers on an average day, but that number could top 2.6 million on Friday.
“We expect that this coming Friday will potentially be one of busiest days ever in TSA history, in terms of passenger throughput busiest ever,” Pekoske said during a conference call with reporters. “We’re doing that while we’re also enhancing security.”
Last week, TSA announced it’s expanding a policy to give extra screening to canisters containing powders at foreign airports that send flights to the United States.
The security agency began having screeners watch for the powder containers last summer, mindful that potentially hazardous materials could be smuggled onto jetliners in that fashion. The agency is watching for canisters that hold more than 350 milliliters, or about the size of a soda can.
Pekoske said passengers using the TSA’s Precheck program, which fast-tracks passengers through security, will cut wait times in half.
More than 99 percent of Precheck travelers wait less than 10 minutes in line, about half the time spent in standard checkpoint lines, Pekoske said. Precheck requires advance background screening and a fee to join.