Security Concerns High As TSA Troubles Continue

Posted at 5:40 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 19:30:08-04

Across the country, panic and frustration filled many airports as security lines stretched for hours.

In Nashville, while the lines can be long, security wait times have averaged about 25 minutes a day. Close to 18,000 passengers use the Nashville International Airport everyday. Officials have been expecting to reach record numbers this year.

"More people does put more of a strain on our security here," Shannon Sumrall, spokesperson for the airport, said.

Transportation Security Administration officials said there has not been a staffing shortage at the Nashville airport. That was not the case across the country. Since 2011, there's been a 15% decrease in the number of TSA screeners.

June has been known as the busiest month for travel at the Nashville airport. They expect more than 20,000 people every day. To prepare for that, officials have been thinking ahead.

"We're actually having weekly meetings, line management meetings, with TSA officials and with our airline partners to try pinpoint those times that we're expecting heavier traffic volume," Sumrall said.

Thursday, the longest wait time found was around 15 minutes. Passengers took those wait times in stride.

"I breeze through here fairly easily every single time I've been here," Michael Shoulders said.

Shoulders said airports, like the one in Denver, have been much worse than Nashville.

"I'm scared with the security things I see on the news, but I've never had an issue with security in Nashville," he added.

Twenty-two airports across the country have hired private security firms to help screen passengers. While the idea has not been ruled out, Nashville airport officials said it's too early to decide on that.

"It is a discussion to have, and it's something we have thought about, but at this time, that's not where we're going right now," Sumrall said.

TSA Pre-Check is a way passengers can cut down on wait times. It costs $85 per year and can help avoid some of the long lines.