Durbin Presses Homeland Security Secretary to Address Long Lines at Airport Security Stations
Announces 58 additional security officers and four additional canine units to O’Hare
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after speaking with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson about massive delays at airport security lines in Chicago and across the country:
“As summer approaches, the number of people traveling increases dramatically—that means long lines at airport security checkpoints. Protecting the safety of passengers remains priority number one, but poor planning and inadequate funding have led to huge lines and unreasonable delays at airports in Chicago and across the country. We need more security officers and more screening lines open and running to bring down wait times, and Secretary Johnson assured me that DHS and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are moving quickly to hire and train additional security officers. They will send 58 new security officers and four additional bomb-sniffing canine teams to O’Hare immediately. More travelers signing up for the TSA’s Pre-Check program will also help shorten the regular security lines, and I pressed Secretary Johnson to improve and expedite the enrollment process for that program. Airlines must also encourage more travelers to check bags instead of hauling them through the main security lines, and I’ll be calling on them to waive their checked baggage fees during these peak travel months.
“I will convene a meeting with state and local officials and the airlines this week to ensure everyone is on the same page about fixing this problem right now.”
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