Miami International Airport has announced that it will close one of its terminals for three days as increasing numbers of Transportation Security Administration employees refuse to continue working without pay during the partial government shutdown.
A spokesman for the airport said at the Miami Herald that the security checkpoint of Terminal G be closed after 13 hours. Saturday to send federal security officers to the busiest checkpoints.
Miami International spokesman Greg Chin said TSA employees had arrived at the airport twice as fast as usual. TSA officials did not know they would have enough staff to handle the 11 checkpoints at the airport during normal working hours.
TSA security officer, Nyamsi Tchapleu, examines images created by a "backscatter" scanner during a demonstration at the Transportation Security Administration's Systems Integration Center at the US Department of Transportation. Ronald Reagan National Airport December 30, 2009, outside Washington, DC TSA agents work without pay since the government The closure began on December 22, 2018. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
"We felt we had to make a decision before the weekend," said Chin at the Miami Herald. "They are careful."
Terminal G, home to Aruba Airlines, Sun Country and United, will reopen on Sunday morning and close at 1 pm Chin added that incoming flights would continue to drop passengers at Terminal G, but that departing passengers would no longer have access to the gates once the security checkpoint is closed.
United Airlines said The Miami Herald it did not provide that passengers would be affected by the closure of the terminal. "We will do everything in our power for our customers and we do not expect any operational impact," said a spokeswoman.
TSA screening officers, considered essential, have been working without pay since the partial shutdown of the federal government on December 22. Since then, hundreds of TSA workers from at least four major airports have launched a disease call, CNN reported.
TSA spokesman Michael Bilello acknowledged that the calls began during the holidays and had since increased. Bilello told CNN that the agency "was watching the situation closely".
On Wednesday, the president of the TSA union said some TSA agents had left their posts or were planning to leave. Hydrick Thomas, chairman of the TSA's board for the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a statement that the reduction in the workforce "would create a huge security risk for US travelers."
"The loss of officers, while we are already in short supply, will create a huge risk to the safety of US travelers because we do not have enough trainees in training or the ability to deal with new recruits . "
Approximately 51,000 TSA officers are among the 800,000 government employees who have been laid off or required to work without pay, and will miss the Friday pay check this week.