TSA head's plan to fix MSP Airport security checkpoint jams

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TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger speaks at MSP Airport.

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger visited Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Friday to answer the question of why travelers are experiencing major delays at the new North Security Checkpoint and how his agency plans to fix it.

Neffenger said wait times at the MSP security mega-checkpoint are already improving, but need to get better. He said the TSA is funneling new recruits to MSP before any other airport,  adding K9s to assist with expediting the screening process, and tapping airline employees to help with some checkpoint maintenance duties, like restocking plastic bins.

Neffenger was asked to witness the situation at MSP Airport firsthand by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

"This isn't one of those typical stories, ‘Oh, we asked for funding and you didn't give it to us,’” Klobuchar said. “The opposite.”

Klobuchar says TSA was given nearly $100 million more than they asked for this budget cycle, and TSA sources tell us it isn't a staffing problem. In fact, the screener allocation model laid out by TSA officials in Washington shows MSP should have 625 full time staff, and right now they have 30 more than that. Of course, with the number of travelers increasing, that recommendation could be outdated.