ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With Memorial Day Weekend ahead, the Transportation Security Administration is ready for the expected increase in the number of travelers who will be flying out of Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport.
“We are prepared to handle the expected increase in travel volume this summer and at the same time TSA is committed to supporting a healthy and secure environment for airline passengers, security personnel and airport employees,” Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York said in a statement. “For those who will be traveling this summer, travelers need to know that the checkpoint experience will look different to those who have not flown since the start of the pandemic, and individuals flying out of Rochester should be prepared for those changes.”
Everyone in the airport is required to continue to wear a mask as prescribed by the federal mask mandate when they are in airports, bus and rail stations, as well as while on passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads, and over-the-road buses operating on scheduled fixed-routes. This means that all travelers must be wearing a mask at TSA airport screening checkpoints and throughout the airport and during their flights. If a traveler does not have a mask, a TSA officer will offer a mask to that individual at the checkpoint.
When approaching the travel document checking podium, passengers will see an acrylic barrier that has been installed to reduce opportunities for cross-contamination. Travelers will be asked to remove their masks for a few seconds so that the officer can match the individual’s face to the photo on their ID. Travelers will place their own ID into the credential authentication technology scanner, thus reducing a touchpoint.
Johnson also said that security officers will change their gloves between each pat down and travelers may request that a TSA officer put on a new pair of gloves at any time. TSA officers also will be using a fresh swab for each passenger when testing for possible explosive material.
Security employees will be conducting routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment at the checkpoints.
TSA is now allowing travelers to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. Passengers can expect that these containers larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids permitted through a checkpoint will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to their checkpoint experience. Travelers also are permitted to bring individually packaged alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes in carry-on or checked luggage.
To reduce touchpoints, it is recommended that travelers place items from their pockets such as wallets, keys, lip balm, tissues and cell phones into their carry-on bags to be screened instead of putting items from their pockets directly into bins. This minimizes the placing of personal items in a bin that you might hold to your face such as lip balm, tissues and cell phones. It also reduces the chance that travelers will leave something behind in a bin.