Spending cuts in Washington are already affecting airport employees. It will put a hiring freeze on the TSA this month. Today, the TSA issued a statement about the changes and how it will impact travelers, "As sequestration takes effect, travelers can expect to see lines and wait times increase as reductions to overtime and the inability to backfill positions for attrition begin to occur this month.”
Grand Junction Regional Airport is not one of the biggest airports in the country, but travelers are still encouraged to arrive early to their flight to avoid long lines.
The statement also said, “While wait times can vary on a number of factors, due to the reductions mandated by sequestration, TSA will put in place a hiring freeze, which will result in up to an additional 1,000 TSO vacancies by Memorial Day Weekend and up to 2,600 vacancies by the end of the fiscal year.”
From these numbers, employee vacant spots at the Grand Junction Regional Airport are unknown at this point.
“With TSA staffing levels decreasing over time, we expect that during busy travel periods wait times exceeding 30-40 minutes could double at nearly all of the largest airports.”
This could mean a traveler could wait in an airport security line for over an hour before reaching their gate. This could impact Grand Junction residents who travel to larger airports.
“In addition, passengers who schedule their travel outside of peak flight schedules and plan to arrive close to their scheduled flight time may see their wait times now reach 30 minutes or more."
This can mean anytime at the airport, it could be considered busy and travelers should expect the unexpected.