TSA Administrator Pekoske statement regarding preparations for 2021 Inauguration Day

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) significantly increased its security posture following the violence at the U.S. Capitol last week and in preparation for the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20. Currently, TSA is processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment. Our intelligence and vetting professionals are working diligently around the clock to ensure those who may pose a threat to our aviation sector undergo enhanced screening or are prevented from boarding an aircraft.

Leading up to, during and following the 2021 Inaugural events, TSA has an all-hands approach to secure our nation’s transportation networks including air, surface, rail, commuter trains, and transit hubs. As in prior Inaugurations, our screening officers will deploy to assist the U.S. Secret Service by screening individuals along the parade route and those authorized to attend the Inauguration in-person. Beyond the Inauguration grounds, TSA implemented additional layers of security at all three Washington, D.C.-area airports. Those security layers include more law enforcement and explosives detection canine teams, random gate screening, increased number of Federal Air Marshals on certain flights, and additional Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to provide greater security presence at certain rail transportation hubs.

TSA officers, Federal Air Marshals, canine teams and explosives experts will have a noticeable presence in all federalized airports around the country. Also, our Transportation Security Operations Center, which operates 24/7, processes information for incident management from numerous worldwide coordination centers collaborating on intelligence for all DHS transportation-related security activities. We maintain a presence with law enforcement agencies to coordinate and analyze information related to the nation’s transportation corridors. Our workforce continues to coordinate closely with partners at the federal, state, and local level as well as appropriate intelligence communities to ensure TSA’s posture over the coming days continues to incorporate all necessary security measures and capabilities within our authority.

Our ongoing partnership with airports, airlines and surface transportation system operators continues to be a critical element in our collective efforts to keep the nation’s transportation systems safe. Several airlines have announced in recent days they will not allow firearms in checked baggage on those aircraft destined to Washington, D.C.-area airports. For passengers who plan travel on carriers or flights that continue to permit firearms in checked bags, TSA regulations require that they be properly declared and packed in accordance with the procedures available from the carrier at check-in.

The TSA workforce stands ready to support those who stand watch across the Department of Homeland Security as well as law enforcement agencies at every level for as long as deemed necessary.