Miami airport to close terminal amid shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Miami International Airport is closing a terminal this weekend due to the partial government shutdown because security screeners have been calling in sick at twice the airport's normal rate.

Friday marks the first day screeners will miss a paycheck, and airport spokesman Greg Chin said there's a concern there won't be enough workers to handle all 11 checkpoints during normal hours over the weekend.

Chin said Terminal G will close at 1 p.m. Saturday, reopen for flights Sunday morning and close again at 1 p.m. that day. In a press release Friday morning, the airport said that during closure times flights would be relocated to either Terminal F or Terminal H. 

The terminal serves United Airlines along with smaller carriers. Its closure means restaurants and shops that depend on departing flights also will close.

In an email Friday, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesman James Gregory said agency officials would meet Friday with Miami airport leadership to determine whether the agency needs to execute a contingency plan or resume normal operation.

"Prudence would dictate that we work closely with our stakeholders in developing plans for higher volumes of weekend traffic," Gregory said.

The TSA experienced a call-out rate of 5.1% on Thursday compared to 3.3% on Dec. 10 of last year, according to Gregory.

"Most importantly, security standards remain uncompromised at our nation's airports," he said.

Chin told The Miami Herald that some passengers have complained about longer waits but there have been no abnormal security delays.

Travel Weekly airlines editor Robert Silk contributed to this story. 

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