The Transportation Security Administration has ‘significantly increased’ security at DC airports ahead of Inauguration Day, the agency announced in a statement Friday.
Following the attacks at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment.
“Our intelligence and vetting professionals are working diligently around the clock to ensure those who may pose a threat to our aviation sector undergo enhanced screening or are prevented from boarding an aircraft,” the statement said.
As in previous inaugurations, TSA officers will be deployed to assist the Secret Service by screening individuals along the parade route and those authorized to attend the Inauguration in-person. Beyond the Inauguration grounds, TSA has implemented additional layers of security at all three Washington, DC-area airports, according to the TSA statement.
Those security layers include more law enforcement and explosives detection canine teams, random gate screening, increased number of Federal Air Marshals on certain flights, and additional Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams to provide greater security presence at certain rail transportation hubs.
While the US Secret Service has primary responsibility for the coordination of security planning and implementation, TSA will play a key role in supporting those efforts.
TSA Media Relations manager Robert Langston told Insider that the agency has a traditional role in security related to presidential inaugurations, but this year is different. “This year may be different in that there is still a pandemic and a different threat environment,” Langston said. “TSA maintains a security posture that is based on a risk- and intelligence-based assessment and contains multiple layers of seen and unseen methods.”
Federal officials are investigating people who took part in the riot at the U.S. Capitol to determine whether they should be barred from traveling on airlines.
A spokeperson for American Airlines told Insider they are working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners to “ensure the safety of our customers and team members on the ground and in the air.”