Per Matt Dean, Fox News producer
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger today rolled out a 10 point plan aimed at addressing increased wait times at security screening lines at airports around the country.
As part of that plan, the agency is expediting the hiring of additional TSA officers - 576 are expected to enter the TSA training academy in Georgia by mid June.
TSA also plans to maximize the use of overtime for its existing officers.
A reduction in size and number of carry on bags will also result in this new plan, something Secretary Johnson said DHS has been in touch with airlines about recently.
Johnson said repeatedly that TSA will not compromise aviation security in the face of heightened passenger volume and longer wait times. He added that recent events around the world confirm the need for continued vigilance.
Johnson did note that there are no specific, credible threats to the homeland at this time.
Asked about airport security concerns post-Brussels and the potential target non-sterile zones paint given those long screening lines, Johnson said that airport security is being stepped up and reevaluated around the country. He added airport security is a shared responsibility with TSA and local law enforcement.
In his remarks Johnson warned there will be wait times and that passengers should set "appropriate expectations."
Johnson said that he would not characterize the current issue of heightened airport wait times as a national crisis, instead he noted that it is an aviation security imperative. Johnson added that DHS and TSA are going to work to bring more resources to face this problem.
As to his thoughts about airports threatening to privatize security screening, he noted that this is already in place in certain airports in the U.S. - notably San Francisco - and that he is not entirely opposed to the use of private screeners.
Speaking to yesterday's incident at Phoenix's airport, Administrator Neffenger said that the problem occurred as a network switch at the airport failed. He added that airport officials called in the manufacturer of the baggage screening mechanism who worked throughout the night to remedy the problem. Neffenger added that TSA is analyzing the issue and that they believe the problem was isolated.