U.S. NEWS

TSA Shutters Baltimore Airport Security Checkpoint Over 'Excessive Callouts'

The agency said staffers were pointing to "financial limitations" as the government shutdown nears month two.

In another sign of the partial federal government shutdown’s repercussions, the Transportation Security Administration closed a checkpoint at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, citing “excessive callouts.”

The announcement was made Saturday evening by both the airport and the agency, which advised travelers to arrive early for their flights.

Still, BWI said passengers wouldn’t feel much of an impact.

The checkpoint closure is further evidence of the strain placed on airports by the large number of callouts by security screeners forced to work without pay as essential staff while the government shutdown approaches its second month.

A recent TSA statement revealed unscheduled absences among staffers jumped to 7 percent across the country on Friday, compared with 3 percent on that date the year before.

The agency added that “many employees are reporting that they are not able to report to work due to financial limitations.”

Several airports, including Miami International Airport and George Bush International Airport in Houston, have had to close checkpoints during the shutdown because of TSA callouts.

While the TSA says the national average for wait times on standard lines is still  normal, hovering around 30 minutes, a blizzard barreling down on the Midwest and Northeast is already making matters worse.

The winter storm, which is expected to continue through the weekend, has sent flight cancellations soaring, topping 2,500 on Saturday, according to FlightAware.com.

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