WASHINGTON, DC – US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow reacted to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s statement on lengthy TSA security lines, which includes a call to redirect fiscal 2016 funding to the agency:
“The U.S. travel community is grateful that the well-documented problems with TSA security lane resourcing have the full attention of the Obama administration and Congress. It’s alarmingly likely that the mere perception of security hassles at U.S. airports will have an effect on travel—which supports employment for one out of every nine Americans—as we head into the summer travel season.
“Our greatest hope is that the process of sorting out TSA’s issues not be chiefly characterized by a lot of finger-pointing. Some have blamed TSA’s problems on insufficient resources, while others have maintained TSA has simply not deployed its existing resources as efficiently as it could, but the winning approach is to look at how to do better on every side of the equation. What is most clear is that Congress and TSA must communicate openly and forthrightly about the agency’s operational needs, and that the solution must remain the only objective, rather than how to retroactively allocate blame.
“One path toward brighter days for TSA already exists: expansion of the PreCheck trusted traveler program, which relieves resources at the airport by thoroughly pre-vetting travelers to eliminate them as threats and allow screening to concentrate on unknowns. Our view has been that a ‘three-legged stool’ of government, industry and the public must drive efforts to ensure more Americans are aware of and enrolling in that program, and the travel industry certainly stands ready to do its part.”