With hundreds of TSA agents calling in sick at airports across the country due to the ongoing government shutdown, at least one airport is seeing a tangible impact: Miami International Airport.
Airport spokesman Greg Chin said Thursday that the security checkpoints at one of the airport’s six terminals, Terminal G, will close at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday due to a shortage of TSA screeners.
The terminal will be open for morning flights each day and arrivals will continue to land in the terminal in the afternoon. After 1 p.m., however, passengers will be unable to access any part of the terminal beyond the security checkpoint, including gates, restaurants, and shops. As a result, all the businesses will also be closed for the three afternoons.
Flights that would otherwise depart from Terminal G in the afternoons will use gates in other parts of the airport. Chin explained to The Miami Herald that the terminal was chosen as it is the slowest, with only around 12 flights departing from it in the afternoons.
The decision was made due to an increased number of TSA screeners not coming to work—approximately double the normal rate for Miami airport. Such workers are reportedly calling in sick in order to work side gigs, since the government shutdown means they’re working their airport jobs without pay. With such a shortage, the airport felt it couldn’t operate checkpoints to an adequate standard. Should that number continue to increase, it could force the airport to close additional terminals in Miami.
Of the nearly 800,000 government employees who are working unpaid during the shutdown, approximately 51,000 are TSA officers.