TSA's Workforce Challenges Threaten Aviation Security, IG says

The Transportation Security Administration is struggling to retain and hire airport screeners and many new workers are gone quickly, says the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

In a new report released this week, the IG outlined a host of TSA’s workforce challenges and said if the agency doesn’t address these issues, aviation security and passenger safety could be at risk.

“We believe TSO retention and training challenges are contributing factors to airport security weaknesses,” the IG said. 

The IG specifically looked at how TSA hires, trains and retains transportation security officers, or TSOs.

During fiscal years 2016-17, TSA hired over 19,300 TSOs -- and lost 15,500 during this same period. The IG found the most common reason for leaving TSA was unhappiness with career advancement opportunities and processes.

The IG recommended TSA address these workforce challenges and improve its retention, hiring and training of TSOs; the agency agreed and is now taking steps to fix these weaknesses. 

Passengers standing by security scanner at airport

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