TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Tampa International Airport officials are not only preparing for a busy weekend, but also a busy summer travel season.
TPA is predicting that the summer travel season could reach record levels.
“We anticipate that certainly several days throughout the summer season are going to set records for us and we’re optimistic that as we put the summer in totality, we will set new records,” said Adam Bouchard, Vice President of Operations for Tampa International Airport.
Some were not surprised by these projections.
“Oh my goodness, everyone has been locked up for the last couple years, so everybody can’t wait to get out,” said Patti Tennyson.
With peak days now exceeding pre-pandemic levels, TPA, its airlines, federal agency partners and other airport businesses are getting ready to see steady and heavy volumes of more than 70,000 daily passengers.
Airport and TSA officials said they have added staff, and new equipment to prepare for the increase in passengers.
Jesus Serrano, TSA Assistant Federal Security Director for Screening Operations said TSA Officers will be utilizing new security scanners that use 3D imaging to scan passenger carry-on items.
“It’s called Computed Tomography, these are x-ray scanners that allow the officers to do an in-depth analysis for prohibited items of bags and carry-ons. It allows the officers to rotate the 3-D image and look for those prohibited items, that would otherwise require the bag to be opened,” Serrano said.
TSA officials are asking for travelers to help keep security lines running smoothly by knowing what carry-on items are prohibited. Items such as sharp objects, large containers of liquids and certain food items can actually cause delays at security checkpoints.
“When the travelers understand and know what’s required it’s a seamless process,” said Serrano.
TPA officials urge passengers to arrive early for flights, especially on peak days. They are also asking passengers to utilize technology to check-in for their flight, arrange parking, and follow flight activity.