TSA boosts screener staffing at key airports

Others are slated for modest cuts to keep the agency under a workforce limit mandated by Congress.

The Transportation Security Administration has reallocated its workforce of passenger and baggage screeners, adding positions at several airports and cutting staff at others. The move is aimed at implementing a congressionally mandated cap of 45,000 employees at the agency.

The revised staffing levels add 1,175 full-time equivalent positions while eliminating 91 jobs across the country. The adjustments are relatively small compared to major staff cuts made at the agency in 2003 to meet the workforce cap.

"Unlike the rightsizing of last year, today's announcement reflects modest adjustments to a workforce that has already functioned for the last six months at the congressionally mandated cap of 45,000 full-time equivalents," the agency said in a May 14 statement. "No layoffs are anticipated, as any reductions can be achieved through normal attrition."

Some of the more significant changes include adding 295 positions at Miami International Airport and 270 at Newark International Airport, while eliminating 45 positions at Pittsburgh International Airport and 33 at New Orleans International Airport.

The agency said it decided on staffing levels using a variety of variables, including forecasted air travel, hours of operation, baggage screening areas, checkpoint lanes, types of equipment and screener standard operating procedures.

"Federal security directors were also actively involved in the development of this reallocation plan," the agency added. "As a result, TSA was able to shape each airport's staffing level based on [the directors'] input on their workforce needs."