SA Int'l Airport seeing minimal impact from government shutdown

Officials say there have been no major delays and no impact on national security

MATT ROURKE APOfficials say there have been no major delays and no impact on national security

The Delta Air Lines passenger was cooperative with authorities once he landed in Tokyo, according to the TSA, which referred additional inquiries to airport officials at Narita.

"TSA will hold those responsible appropriately accountable", the representative added.

The was no word whether that includes the passenger being arrested. The agency confirmed that a man was able to take a gun aboard his flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Tokyo in early January 2019.

Rudy Garcia, president of the union for Dallas TSA employees, said last week that employees who aren't getting paid for their work would likely try to make money elsewhere.

The incident came days after a reported uptick in TSA staffer call-outs, leading some to speculate that the screening mistake was related to the government shutdown.

Elsewhere, the TSA checkpoint at terminal B of Texas' George Bush Intercontinental Airport was closed for an undisclosed amount of time due to staffing shortages caused by the partial shutdown, which has left hundred of thousands of federal workers furloughed.

Michael Bilello, TSA assistant administrator for public affairs, said that TSA experienced a national rate of 7.7 percent unscheduled absences, compared to a 3.2 percent rate the previous year.

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Jim Gregory, a TSA spokesperson, told TIME last week that while most security officers are professional and dedicated to the TSA's mission, he did not "want to speculate" about whether more TSA employees will call out during the shutdown.

Transportation Security Administration officials are closing more security lanes amid increased callouts from officers not being paid during the government shutdown. The airport statement said passengers were being directed to other ticket counters and checkpoints.

Though the TSA has stated that it will compensate its employees with a day's pay in addition to a $500 bonus, many are instead deciding to submit their resignation letters, Yahoo Finance reported. Some TSA agents, who make about $35,000 a year, have been calling out sick to protest the shutdown.

The recorded message said that 99.9 per cent of passengers nationally waited less than 30 minutes to get through security on Friday, and 95 per cent waited less than 15 minutes.

Despite those shortages, a department spokesman tweeted Sunday that "security standards remain uncompromised at our nation's airports".

The Atlanta airport was one of two airports in the country to implement "contingency plans" Monday because of absences and other issues.

TSA officers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, October 10, 2016.

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