Miami's airport is shutting down one of its terminals this weekend due to a shortage of TSA screeners because of the government shutdown
- Miami International Airport is shutting down one of its terminals for parts of this weekend due to a shortage of available screeners at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints.
- Concourse G will be shut down after 1:00 PM on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The terminal and its 15 gates will reopen each morning.
- Concourse G, which serves several airlines including United, will have its flights relocated to either Concourse F or Concourse H.
- TSA screeners have been working unpaid during the government shutdown, leading many to call out or even quit.
Miami International Airport is shutting down one of its terminals for parts of this weekend due to a shortage of available screeners at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints.
"As a precautionary measure due to uncertainties created by the lapse in federal government funding, some passengers at Miami International Airport may experience changes to their security checkpoint and departure gate this weekend," the airport announced on its website.This includes the shutdown of Concourse G after 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The terminal and its 15 gates will reopen each morning.
Concourse G, which serves several airlines including United, will have its flights relocated to either Concourse F or Concourse H.
Neither United Airlines nor Miami Airport was immediately available for comment.
However, airport spokesperson Greg Chin told the Miami Herald on Thursday, "Federal screeners are calling in sick at double the normal rate for Miami, and TSA managers aren't confident they will have enough workers to operate all 11 checkpoints at normal hours throughout the airport."
In a statement to Business Insider, a TSA spokesperson said, "In an effort to optimize resources without degrading screening and security effectiveness, where it is feasible, TSA is working with key stakeholders and industry partners, and may explore efforts to consolidate officers and operations."The spokesperson added that the TSA experienced a 5.1% unscheduled call-out rate on Thursday, up from 3.3% on the same day in 2018.
According to TSA workers' union president Hydrick Thomas, the workers are calling out due to financial hardship.
"TSA employees aren't calling out intentionally," Thomas told Business Insider last week. "They are calling out because they don't have the funds to make it work."
TSA screeners are among the federal employees who have been working unpaid since the US government shutdown began on December 22. Even though the workers are eligible to receive back pay once the shutdown is over, many live paycheck to paycheck and are suffering financially.
"Every day I'm getting calls from my members about their extreme financial hardships and need for a paycheck," Thomas said in a post on the union's website. "Some of them have already quit and many are considering quitting the federal workforce because of this shutdown."
"The loss of officers, while we're already shorthanded, will create a massive security risk for American travelers since we don't have enough trainees in the pipeline or the ability to process new hires," Thomas continued.
Unions, aviation trade groups, and politicians from both sides of the aisles held a rally in Washington, DC, on Thursdaym urging political leaders to bring the shutdown to an end.