Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asked for passenger’s patience while speaking in a Washington, DC airport on Friday, as travelers across the country face exceedingly long security lines, TIME reports.
During a press conference at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on Friday, Johnson addressed growing concerns over lengthy wait times due to personnel cuts and an uptick in travel across the country. ABC News reports that in the past three years, Congress and the Transportation Security Administration cut the number of screening officers by 10%, costing nearly 5,000 jobs. The TSA had hoped more travelers would gravitate toward their expedited screening program, Precheck, but that has not yet occurred.
On Friday, Johnson announced a “ten-point plan” that would get lines moving while keeping Americans safe. “We’re maximizing the use of overtime for our [screening officers] to meet the demands at screening checkpoints,” Johnson said, while also announcing the TSA would expedite the hiring of more officers and take additional steps to reduce wait times. Read more at TIME.