TSA chief headed back to Capitol Hill to talk airport lines

"The issue is that TSA simply does not have adequate funding in its budget for enough screeners", said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and founder of Atmosphere Research Group.

"I want the American public to know that we're aggressively focused on this and working with Congress to get the resources the TSA needs", Johnson, the secretary for homeland security, said Tuesday.

"Those bonuses were given to somebody who oversees a part of the operation that was in total failure", said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah and the committee's chairman during the hearing, according to media reports. Congress has granted a request by the TSA to reallocate $34 million to hire more officers and pay overtime, yet wait times are growing, he said.

The crisis "didn't just come out of nowhere", McCaul said.

I think before the summer is over, a serious effort will be made by airports and airlines to privatize security screening at airports. In the afternoon, average wait times run from 3 to 5 minutes, with the same 25-minute wait during peak periods.

An internal TSA investigation conducted previous year showed undercover agents were able to get weapons and banned items through the screening process 95 percent of the time.

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger has said the problem was created by a combination of factors, including that more people are flying this year and fewer than anticipated have applied for the government's PreCheck program, which allows passengers to move through security faster after submitting to a background check.

In addition, airline fees for checked bags have boosted the volume of carry-on bags, putting extra pressure on screeners.

Meanwhile, the volume of passengers has increased 15 percent to 740 million now and is projected to exceed 800 million this year, the union said, citing federal data. That increase comes amid a 12 percent drop in the TSA's workforce that has reduced the number of screeners to about 42,000 at 440 airports nationwide.

And adding 768 new officers, as the agency plans, by June 15 will only boost the security force of about 43,000 by less than 2 percent, according to The Washington Post.

Hoggan wasn't actually fired, by the way.

Kelly Hoggan received $90,000 in bonuses over 13 months, despite failures in security screening tests and coast-to-coast frustration over airport lines.

Asked during the hearing if he would discipline or remove Mr. Hoggan, Mr. Neffenger said he would not, adding that he had no evidence of any wrongdoing.

To alleviate and avoid that issue, TSA is hiring dozens more officers and moving bomb-sniffing dogs to O'Hare.

The US Travel Association said Wednesday that almost 22% of those who had planned trips this summer will delay or cancel their itineraries or at least avoid air travel because of long airport waits, adding that this would cost the US economy US$4.3bil (RM17.6bil) in lost travel spend.

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