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Thursday, June 20th, 2024

TSA looks back at 2023 highlights, significant improvements in transportation security

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In a new report, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said its 2023 was a significant year for improved transportation security.

On Friday, the TSA said the agency had made strides in its effectiveness, efficiency and enhanced passenger experience. Over 2023, TSA screened more than 858 million passengers, an average of 2.4 million per day. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the agency recorded a record, screening nearly 3 million passengers on one day. Seven of the 10 busiest days in the agency’s history took place in 2023, officials said.

“I am very proud of the work we accomplished together as an agency and with our partners in 2023, starting with the long-awaited goal of paying our employees fairly, at the same levels as their federal counterparts,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “At TSA, from our employees behind the scenes to those on the frontlines, we have built a culture of innovation and remain focused on staying ahead of the emerging threats. We have deployed new technology to improve security and the passenger experience, and look forward to continuing the progress this year with our incredible partners across government and industry.”

Other screenings included 484 million checked bags and 1.9 billion carry-on items, the agency said, as well as pre-screening nearly a billion passengers through Secure Flight. An additional 4 million people were pre-screened into TSA PreCheck Trusted Traveler Program, bringing the total number of active members to 18 million.

And the agency said it continues to invest in security and checkpoint technologies, improving its cybersecurity preparedness and resilience through new requirements for airport and aircraft operators, and deploying more than 2,000 Credential Authentication Technology machines that utilize facial recognition technology to match credentials to passengers, and adding 267 Computed Tomography X-ray scanners that produce high-quality 3-D images for screening purposes.

TSA also said it prevented 6,737 firearms, 97 percent of which were loaded, from getting into secured areas of the airport or onboard aircraft.