TSA screeners continue working at Columbia Regional Airport
COLUMBIA REGIONAL AIRPORT —
Long lines and staffing problems hit airports around the country Tuesday as the partial government shutdown was in its fourth week.
Some TSA screeners continued to inspect luggage as they struggled to make ends meet without paychecks.
As larger airports across the country struggled with short staffing from the Transportation Security Administration, Columbia Regional Airport Manager Mike Parks said it was business as usual. TSA employees continued to show up for work at Columbia Regional Airport hoping someday soon they would see another paycheck.
Parks said, “We haven’t seen any impacts here in Columbia at all. Screening operations have continued normally.”
Columbia Regional Airport passenger Karen Wooster was on her way back to Tampa, Florida Tuesday after visiting relatives in Central Missouri. Wooster thanked TSA employees for their service at every opportunity.
Wooster said, “I think they are dedicated persons who want to keep their job whenever things get straightened out again. They just want to secure their position and keep coming in.”
Not every airport ran as smoothly as Columbia Regional Airport. Miami International Airport officials said some of their TSA screeners were calling in sick at double the normal rate.
TSA officials tweeted they were experiencing a national rate of 7.6 % unscheduled absences compared to a 3.2 % rate one year ago.