Faced with reports of soaring security wait times at U.S. airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will increase both human and canine security staff at airports this summer, and has asked Congress for additional funding to pay screening officers more overtime.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson took note of the "significant increase" in both travelers and longer airport wait times, and their projected growth this summer. He said he directed the TSA to take action to alleviate the problem.

The steps include more security screening staff, increasing the number of canine teams and expanding enrollment efforts for the TSA PreCheck program, which allows travelers to move through security more quickly. In addition, TSA will collaborate with airports and airlines to support nonsecurity operations that help expedite passenger flow, such as returning bins to the front of waiting lines. 

In response, U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow said the U.S. travel community was "grateful that the well-documented problems with TSA security lane resourcing have the full attention of the Obama administration and Congress." 

"It's alarmingly likely that the mere perception of security hassles at U.S. airports will have an effect on travel," he said.


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