WASHINGTON D.C.: The highest number of passengers since the start of the Covid pandemic passed through U.S. airports on Friday.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it screened 2.02 million passengers on Friday at U.S. airports.
The last time daily U.S. airport passenger screenings had been greater than 2 million was March 7, 2020, the TSA said.
However, Friday's screenings were only 74 percent of pre-pandemic air travel on the same day in June 2019, when 2.7 million passengers were screened.
On the other hand, Friday's figure was also 1.5 million more travelers than screened on June 11, 2020.
"The growing number of travelers demonstrates this country's resilience and the high level of confidence in COVID-19 counter measures, including ready access to vaccines," said Darby LaJoye, a senior TSA official, in a statement Saturday.
Airlines for America, an industry trade group, reports that domestic air travel is down 22 percent, while international travel is 47 percent below normal as the United States and many other countries continue to impose restrictions on travel.
The White House said this week it is working with the UK, European Union, Canada and Mexico to eventually relax restrictions. Airline officials do not think the United States will loosen rules until July 4, at the earliest.
On April 13, 2020 only 87,534 passengers were screened at airport security checkpoints in the United States, TSA said.
As a measure of the improving air travel, TSA is seeking to fill many screening positions. TSA also is working to hire another 1,000 officers by July 4, after hiring 3,000 officers since Jan 1, the agency said in late May.