Klobuchar Highlights Efforts to Increase TSA Staffing at MSP to Address Increased Wait Times
Klobuchar, joined by Dan Boivan, Chairman of the Metropolitan Airport Commission, and Neal Gosman, a TSA union leader, discussed efforts to address increased passenger security check point wait times at MSP
Transportation Security Administration data for MSP Terminal 1 checkpoints show recent average passenger wait times approaching half an hour, and nearly hour-long waits during busy times; Between 2012 and 2017, MSP passenger traffic increased 12% while TSA reduced its number of screeners by 9%
MINNEAPOLIS – On Sunday, April 7, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) was joined by Dan Boivan, Chairman of the Metropolitan Airport Commission, and Neal Gosman, a TSA union leader to discuss work to increase TSA staffing levels at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and recent steps taken to improve the experience for airport visitors. Following last year’s Super Bowl LII bringing nearly 125,000 visitors and the 2019 NCAA Final Four tournament hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota’s popularity as a travel destination continues to increase despite staffing cuts made by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to the number of checkpoint screeners.
“It’s the workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport that keep our skies safe, our visitors on time, and keep the airport running day in and day out,” Klobuchar said. “Even when Minnesota hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors for events like last year’s Super Bowl, these workers come to work and get the job done. It’s critical that we rise to meet this increased demand for air travel and properly balance the need for safety with a quality experience for travelers. That’s why I wrote to TSA Administrator David Pekoske last fall urging him to increase staffing at MSP to address recent increases in wait times at checkpoints.”
Klobuchar has sent two letters since last Fall to TSA Administrator David Pekoske urging the agency to increase staffing at MSP to address recent increases in wait times at security checkpoints. The Metropolitan Airport Commission has made significant improvements to consolidate, modernize, and streamline its Terminal 1 security checkpoints, but the benefits from the investments in efficiency have been offset by reductions in TSA staffing levels. In 2012, MSP served 33.9 million passengers and had 670 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) officers allocated to the airport. By 2017, MSP traffic had increased to 38 million passengers but TSA had reduced the number of assigned FTE officers to 630. This 12% increase in the number of passengers combined with a 9% reduction in screeners is a concerning trend—particularly as MSP serves an increasing number of domestic and international passengers.
In 2016, Klobuchar helped secure additional K-9 units for the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport which significantly reduced passenger wait times while increasing security. She also worked to pass language increasing the number of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams that worked alongside local law enforcement to secure all public transportation in the city and provide additional support to security staff during the Super Bowl LII in 2018.