Airport and Transportation Security Administration officials confirmed that new TSA officers are coming to ABIA. In an April 12 meeting of the Airport Advisory Commission, Aviation Department CEO Jacqueline Yaft said 15 new TSA officers are being deployed to supplement 35 officers already temporarily assigned to the airport. The aviation department said the new officers were expected to start work April 8.
“TSA leadership has confirmed additional staffing and canine resources to be deployed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The Department of Aviation is grateful for the continued collaboration and support from our TSA partners as we work together on the shared goal of improving the [ABIA] passenger experience," Public Information Specialist Bailey Grimmett said in a statement.
A TSA spokesperson confirmed that officers are being onboarded at ABIA. However, due to security reasons, the agency could not provide specific details about the recent officer deployment.
Grimmett also said the airport is continuing to evaluate other improvements to its passenger ticketing and screening process, including collaboration with the TSA and airlines. The airport recently advised that travelers can expect to be met with busy conditions at the airport—especially on weekends and early mornings—through at least this summer, as ABIA is poised to break its record annual passenger count in 2022.
The TSA staffing support comes as the facility plans for its extensive expansion project that is also expected to relieve congestion and modernize airport operations. However, many key upgrades—such as a new midfield terminal, added gates and security lines—will not be completed for several more years.
A recent controversy over a proposed jet fuel storage expansion at the airport was also ended with a City Council vote against a plan to find a new location for the site, clearing the way for a key piece of the expansion to proceed. Aviation officials say the fuel facility is needed to improve capacity and provide enough fuel for the increasing number of flights in and out of Austin, which the airport has at times struggled to keep up with.
The plan was opposed by dozens of residents and five council members, who raised concerns about potential environmental and safety effects as well as a lack of community engagement about the project.