TSA provides summer travel update, overview of security checkpoint screening technologies at Palm Springs International Airport

PALM SPRINGS, California-The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects a record number of people to be checked through security checkpoints at Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) this summer, which is more than 2019, pre-pandemic volume.

Nationwide since June 1, the TSA has screened an average of 2.27 million people per day, which is a 16% increase compared to volumes last year, but down 11% from pre-pandemic 2019 levels. when the TSA screens approximately 2.56 million people on average per day. So far in July, the TSA has seen an increase in the number if people screen over the weekend of the Fourth of July and expects continued travel volume throughout the summer.

As air travel across the country has recovered over the past few months, the TSA on the PSP has seen a steady volume of travel. The busiest time of the PSP year is the winter months when the Coachella Valley tourism season is in full swing. In the summer months, the PSP’s consistent passenger volume is driven by the addition of more airlines and flights than in previous summers.

In March 2022, which was the busiest month this year, the TSA screened approximately 207,000 people through a security checkpoint on the PSP. That’s a five percent increase over 2019 pre-pandemic volume on the PSP when approximately 197,000 people were screened. In March 2021, the TSA screened approximately 119,000 people.

Most recently, in June 2022, the TSA screened approximately 75,500 people, up from approximately 68,000 in June 2021. This compares to 2019 when the TSA screened nearly 57,000 people in the month of June.

Photo of baggage checking equipment

“Regardless of the weather, the TSA at Palm Springs International Airport is at work and ready to ensure the safety and security of tourists and residents who are fortunate enough to spend time in the Coachella Valley. Whether it’s a peak travel time or a slower time, we encourage all passengers to go to the security checkpoint early and be prepared, ”said TSA Federal Security Director Keith Jeffries who oversees PSP security operations.

Flight departure schedules are determined by the airlines. When there is a concentrated number of flight departures in a short period of time, there will be intervals when the number of departing passengers may exceed the capacity of the TSA security checkpoint for a period of time.

The TSA continues to maintain the security checkpoint based on the number of travelers expected to leave the airport at different times of the day. The busiest hours at the checkpoint are 10 am to 1 pm The busiest days for local travel are Fridays as well as Sundays and Mondays.

Photo of PSP TDC

TSA strives to pass travelers through the overall security screening process in less than 30 minutes and through TSA PreCheck screening in less than 10 minutes. With this in mind, travelers should know that there is no substitute for arriving early and preparing for the air travel experience, regardless of the airport you are leaving.

Security technologies
On the PSP, the TSA uses two innovative checkpoint security technologies. The first, Credential Authentication Technology (CAT), can be seen at the entrance to the security checkpoint. CAT units are programmed to confirm the validity of a traveler’s photo identification and confirm flight information in real-time by matching the passenger’s biographical information from the photo ID against the Secure Flight database.

When travelers approach the podium to review the travel document and use the CAT, the TSA officer will place the photo ID on the CAT unit. A boarding pass is no longer required at this point as the Secure Flight database contains names and flight details for people ticketed to travel in the next 24 hours. CAT units are also designed to identify fraudulent documents and those that have been tampered with.

The second technology is a computed tomography (CT) scanner to screen the carry-on luggage of travelers at the security checkpoint. This type of scanner provides advanced explosive detection capabilities by applying a sophisticated algorithm to generate a 3-D image of the contents of the carry-on bag. A security screening officer can manipulate the 3-D X-ray image on the screen to allow better viewing of the bag’s contents, ultimately reducing the number of bag checks required.

When a carry-on bag is screened by a CT scanner, travelers can leave everything in their carry-on bag, including electronics larger than a cell phone and food. Another requirement of the CT scanner system is that each portable object must be placed in a bin for screening.

Travel advice
Travelers have the ability to affect the efficiency of the screening process. Since there is no substitute for starting to prepare for your trips before leaving home and arriving at the airport, the TSA encourages travelers to follow the tips below.

Listen to guidance from TSA officials. Some people may not have traveled recently, so it’s important to listen to the direction given at the security checkpoint. There may be information on new technologies that help reduce touchpoints and make for a more streamlined and convenient passenger experience, so listen!

Empty your pockets before arriving at the checkpoint. Put wallets, phones, keys, sunglasses and other loose items from your pockets inside your carry-on bag instead of putting them in a trash can. This will ensure that personal items are not left behind.

Follow the rule for traveling with liquids. Gels, liquids and aerosols are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less in carry-on baggage. The general meaning for this rule is that if you can pour it, spray it, pump it or pour, then it is subject to the liquid restriction rule. Anything in quantity greater than 3.4 ounces must travel in checked baggage.

Pack smart. Travelers should be aware of the contents of their carry -on bags and make sure they are not carrying prohibited items at the security checkpoint. To determine if an item is allowed or prohibited in carry-on luggage, download the MyTSA app and use “Can I Bring?” features. Another option is to contact @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger to get answers to your travel questions.

Register with TSA PreCheck®. Experience a smoother screening process by enrolling in TSA PreCheck®. Eligible travelers do not need to remove shoes, belts, light clothing, laptops, electronics larger than a cell phone or travel-sized liquids from carry-on luggage. . Another benefit of the program is that children 12 and under are allowed to use the TSA PreCheck lane when traveling with an eligible parent or guardian on the same itinerary.

Give yourself plenty of time at the airport. Extra time may be required for parking, at the airline check-in counters and at the security checkpoint. There is no substitute for arriving early and preparing.