RALEIGH (WTVD) –
The TSA has acknowledged an increase in agent calls by agents, with the partial government shutdown having arrived on the 15th day.
However, they say that the effect had minimal impact and did not affect their performance standards.
In a statement provided to ABC11, TSA spokesman James Gregory wrote in part:
We recognize that some incoming calls began during the vacation period and have increased, but have minimal impact as 51,739 employees support the screening process. The effectiveness of safety will not be compromised and the performance standards will not change. Wait times can be assigned based on the number of outgoing calls. However, to date, waiting times for filtering remain largely in line with TSA standards. On Thursday, for example, the TSA controlled more than 2.2 million passengers. In total, 99.8% waited less than 30 minutes. We are grateful to officers who come to work, who remain focused on the mission and respectful of the traveling public as they continue the important work necessary to secure the country's transportation systems.
The agency cited DFW Airport, one of the busiest in the country, noting Friday that 5.5% of the TSA workforce had been called, an increase from the average of 3 , 5%.
"It's pretty much the same as in the last few months, actually the last two years, maybe even slightly improved in some areas, but it's about the same," Thongchai said. Khidathong, a traveler who returned to Raleigh after an international trip.
"Well, since it's Miami, it's still a problem there, but since I do not travel much, I may have seen it as a longer experience," he said. added the traveler Veronia Rodriguez.
Rodriguez explained that she had discussed the effects of the government's partial closure on TSA with her family before take-off.
"In fact, I was talking about it yesterday with my uncle, about the fact that the TSA agents did not come to work or did not seem sick, but honestly, I did not really pay attention to it. when I went to the airport.But yes, it's pretty interesting and sad enough that we were going in that direction with the government, "Rodriguez said.
Friday, CNN reported the calls were made at various airports across the country. Mac Johnson, president of the local chapter representing TSA agents, told CNN that the callback rate at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport and at the Charlotte / Douglas International Airport was rising 10%. He warned however that it could worsen if closure continues.
ABC11 contacted AFGE, the union representing TSA agents, for an interview. They did not respond to our request on Saturday night. According to its website, AFGE is "the largest union of federal employees representing 700,000 federal and federal public servants nationally and internationally."
Wait times for RDU travelers were short on Saturday afternoon and evening, with short lines quickly passing through Terminal 2.
Tyler Houlton, press officer for the Department of Homeland Security, responded to CNN article on Twitter, writing in part, "Security operations at airports have not been affected by a non-existent disease."
President Trump also reacted to the report on Twitter congratulating the agency for which he had written, "The TSA is doing a great job!".
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2019
January, especially outside of the first week, usually corresponds to a slower travel season after the end of November and December holidays.
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