Wait times fall at airport security lines

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The head of the TSA said the agency will add 768 new screeners by mid-June to deal with the line crisis. (WLS)

The wait times are apparently falling at airport security lines.

The head of the transportation security administration said the agency will add 768 new screeners by mid-June to deal with the airport security line crisis.

At terminal one where United Airlines security waits seemed much shorter Wednesday compared to the past few weeks, some passengers arriving with dread were pleasantly surprised.

The Rahman family was headed to London and Qatar and waited in the security line for a solid half hour. Dr. Faisal Rahman brought his family four hours ahead of their flight

"After all these horrific reports we saw on the newspaper and TV we thought we wouldn't take any chances," said Rahman.

The sense that problems at the nation's biggest airports are avoidable characterized TSA administrator Peter Neffenger's testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday in front of the homeland security committee.

"Chicago was a preventable incident in my opinion," Neffenger said. "When you look at what happened this was a surge that was anticipated, it was known, it was a failure to get some things done in advance of that, and we proved that by fixing it pretty quickly."

Chicago is getting 58 of 768 new TSA officers by the end of the week and overtime funds from a new congressional appropriation, as well as more bomb sniffing canine units, according to Neffenger.

"It's time to get moving on this because the American people are fed up with this," said Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Later, new technology may start being deployed like in Atlanta Wednesday, where the TSA demonstrated a new efficiency with security bins

"This system automatically puts bin in a designated area and the bins work their way under the system and automatically repopulate on the other end," said TSA technology officer Jill Vaugahn.

Back in Chicago solutions to a challenge that aviation experts said will present itself through the summer seems simple enough.

Eyewitness news reporter Ravi Baichwal asked Shradha Verma, 10, what would happen if she were running the TSA...

"There would be a lot more employees," she said.
Related Topics:
newsTSAairport newsohare airportmidway airportrahm emanuelu.s. & worldChicago - Midway AirportChicago - O'HareWashington D.C.
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