Three new canine teams will bring shorter TSA wait times to Sea-Tac Airport
SEATTLE — Sea-Tac Airport’s ever-busy TSA checkpoints could be processing up to 300 more passengers an hour soon with the help of three new canine teams.
According to a news release from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office, this brings the total number of passenger-screening canines at Sea-Tac to 15.
Sea-Tac has become one of the fastest growing airports in America over the past few years, with almost 22 million passengers passing through in 2016.
“This is not just the speed of moving people through TSA lines, this is a layer of security that cannot be underestimated,” Cantwell said.
The Port of Seattle says on its website that although the lines can appear unbearable during peak travel times, TSA officials try to keep the wait time at 20 minutes for most passengers. Wait times, however, can increase to 30-45 minutes during summer months and on holidays.
It’s also worth noting that the TSA checkpoint area at Sea-Tac is very narrow, which makes it seem like wait times will be much longer than they actually are, according to the port.
Airport officials estimate that checkpoints with a canine are able to process 240 passengers an hour, compared to 140 passengers per hour without a canine.