On April 7th, the TSA notched a new record low number of passenger screenings in one day. Tuesday saw only 97,130 screenings compared to 2,091,056 exactly one year prior. This represents a decrease of over 95%.
Record low number of TSA screenings
The TSA routinely records the number of daily screenings. This helps give an indicator of how many people are traveling from American airports in a given day. On April 7th, the TSA only recorded 97,130 screenings down from 2,091,056 a year ago setting, once again, a new record. This includes personnel who work for airports and have to undergo passenger screenings.
BREAKING NEWS: On Tuesday, 97,130 individuals were screened at @TSA checkpoints nationwide. First time it's dipped lower than 100,000 during the pandemic. Yes, it's a record low. Exactly one year ago Tuesday, 2,091,056 people went through security checkpoints.Advertisement:
— TSAmedia_LisaF (@TSAmedia_LisaF) April 8, 2020
Since mid-March, passenger numbers have been declining according to TSA numbers. although, it seemed to hover around 120,000 screenings before Tuesday’s decline.
Compared to last year’s data, the numbers are incredibly staggering. Most of the decline is a result of passengers.
Screening under 100,000 people across the entire United States is a massive decline in numbers. While airlines are cutting the number of flights and swapping out larger planes for smaller ones, it is still clear that those planes are not going out full amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Room for social distancing
Traveling by plane in 2019, for most people, was a relatively full flight in coach with not a lot of room to move people around. Now, with fewer passengers, this leaves more room for social distancing at the airport, in the gate area, and onboard aircraft.
Airlines around the world are operating with new social distancing and cleaning procedures. Some recent moves include blocking middle seats or else giving gate agents and flight attendants more leeway to separate passengers.
Other uses for airports
While airports are seeing fewer passengers, a number of them have more planes on the ground than before. Although, these planes aren’t flying. Rather, they are parked. Finding enough space to park hundreds of planes is no easy feat leading airports to shut down runways and take up apron space. For example, American Airlines is storing a number of planes including widebody 777s in Tulsa, Oklahoma. For avgeeks, this could be a sad sight to see so many planes parked on runways.
People are not traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The TSA numbers show that. More states and countries are issuing lockdown orders leaving travel only for essential purposes like flying in medical volunteers, or visiting ailing family members, or transporting vital cargo.
On Tuesday, April 7th, the TSA screened fewer than 100,000 passengers in one day. This was a new record low marking a decline of almost 95% compared to April 7, 2019.
Do you think passenger numbers will continue to drop? What do you make of these record low TSA screenings? Let us know in the comments!