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Passenger carries firearm through TSA screening at Atlanta onto Delta flight

15 January, 2019, 13:44 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Akron Canton Airport

Passengers departing Miami International Airport endured unusually long waits at security checkpoints Sunday, an indirect outcome of the partial U.S. federal government shutdown.

It said the national unscheduled absence rate of TSA staff on January 3 was 4.8 per cent compared to 6.3 per cent on the same day previous year. That compares to 3.2 per cent for this time one year ago, TSA spokesman Thomas Kelly said in a statement to The Associated Press.

But screener staffing shortages forced George Bush Intercontinental Airport to shut down a security checkpoint and ticketing counter in Terminal B on Sunday afternoon, the airport said in a statement.

Trahan said he was not sure when the airport will reopen the closed terminal.

Delta said the passenger brought the gun on flight DL 295 from Atlanta to the Tokyo region's Narita International Airport on January 2, and as soon as the passenger reported carrying the firearm, the airline disclosed the offense to the TSA. The predicament has led to an increasing number of agents missing work over the last three weeks. "Our folks are coming to work and getting the job done, and I couldn't be more proud of them".

The shutdown impacts 800,000 federal workers, with some on furlough and others, like TSA security employees and Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers, are required to work even though their paychecks showed only zeroes last Friday.

Airport officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

At least 800,000 federal employees around the country have been affected by the shutdown, missing their first paycheck on January 11.

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"The perception that this might have occurred as a result of the partial government shutdown would be false", TSA said.

The message adds that security standards "remain uncompromised" at the nation's airports.

"Financially, [government leaders] don't really know what exactly we're going through aside from this alone." said Randall Baker, who has been a TSA employee for nine years.

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is feeling the effects of the ongoing partial government shutdown more than most.

Feeding Tampa Bay was part of the effort, opening up a food bank for federal airport workers.

That's not the case for many other airports across the country.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske has also promised to provide every officer with a $500 award, "in recognition of their hard work during yet another busy holiday travel season, maintaining the highest of security standards during an extraordinary period", according to the TSA.

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