TSA: 1 million passengers screened in a day for first time since March

The Transportation Security Administration announced Monday that the agency screened more than a million people in a single day.

The milestone comes as the aviation industry seeks to avert catastrophe following a sudden drop in passenger numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday was the first day that the total volume of passengers flowing through TSA checkpoints nationwide surpassed one million since March 17, the agency said in a news release. More than 6 million people were scanned from Oct. 12 to Oct. 18, which also sets a record for the highest weekly volume since the pandemic began.

Airport officials have taken advantage of reduced air travel to beef up health measures at checkpoints, including through the addition of acrylic barriers, technologies and other modifications said to reduce contact among passengers and with TSA officers.

A new system will also allow passengers to get their passport, drivers license or other form of identification checked by sliding it through a card reader, without an officer handling it. New scanning technology, the agency said, had also enabled agents to better peer inside carry-on luggage without having to open it.

While still far below that of a normal year, air travel has been slowly bouncing back in the U.S. and around the world — though it remains to be seen whether a likely resurgence of cases over the winter will act to temper that recovery.

The D.C. region’s Reagan National and Dulles International airports saw their checkpoints augmented with plastic protective barriers last month.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.


Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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