DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado lawmakers are joining the chorus of complaints about long lines at Denver International Airport security checkpoints, sending a letter Monday about their concerns.
Most of Colorado’s congressional delegation is pushing the Transportation Security Administration to do something about the wait times. U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, Yadira Caraveo, Jason Crow, Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse and Brittany Pettersen, plus both U.S. Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, are asking TSA to work with the airport on a solution.
Caraveo said she’s heard it all while in line at the airport, even with TSA PreCheck.
“‘What is going on?’ ‘Why are the lines so long?’ ‘I’m not sure if I’m going to make my plane.’ It is something that I hear time and time again when I’m in line,” she said.
Travelers like Jessica McCaig say it can be a lot to plan for.
“I wasn’t expecting the lines for security to be so bad today. I’m glad I got here a lot earlier,” McCaig said. “It’s stressful, especially when you are like running late, or traffic to the airport was bad, and so the stress of that. And you’re standing in line and trying to distract yourself with your phone, and then your battery is dying. It’s tough, for sure.”
TSA agent numbers don’t meet demand: letter
In the letter, the delegation said there aren’t enough TSA agents to meet the demands of the airport.
“People using the airport has significantly increased and has surpassed even the numbers that the airport expected itself, and so I think it’s really important for the airport in Denver and TSA to have a conversation about the efficiencies or lack of efficiencies that are happening at the airport right now,” Caraveo said. “Right now, the number of TSA staff at the airport is less than it was in 2019, and that is despite the fact that the number of passengers in Denver has grown to a point that we are now the third-busiest airport in the country.”
The numbers back up the lawmakers’ concerns. In June alone, 6.7 million passengers traveled through DIA. A record total of 78 million passengers is expected this year.
While TSA wouldn’t comment, DIA said that while passenger numbers are up, the number of allocated TSA agents is down. They sent a statement:
“We are appreciative of the support of Colorado’s congressional delegation. As frequent users of DEN, they have the same experiences as other travelers. DEN has a great partnership with TSA and a shared goal of providing a safe and efficient experience for passengers. It’s no secret that DEN has experienced longer lines through its TSA checkpoints and while passenger traffic has increased, the number of TSA agents allocated to DEN has decreased. We look forward to learning more about how TSA allocates its staffing resources to airports.”Denver International Airport
The delegation said a meeting is scheduled to discuss these issues. There is also a new security checkpoint on the west side of the airport that’s expected to open in February.