|Photo by Freeimages.com/A. Schaeffer|
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Kelly Hoggan has been removed from that position, according to an internal TSA memo seen by Reuters. Hoggan had served in that position since May 2013, and will be replaced by his deputy, Darby LaJoye, serving on an acting basis. Hoggan had faced criticism from the U.S. House Oversight Committee for receiving over $90,000 in bonuses in 2013 and 2014.
The move comes as the TSA faces criticism over long lines at airport security, which recently prompted American Airlines to spend $4 million on additional contractors to help manage checkpoint lines.
In the memo TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said that the agency had improved conditions at Chicago O’Hare Airport after long lines there made national news, according to the Reuters report. The TSA has also established a National Incident Command Center to track screening operations nationwide and shift resources to accommodate predicted passenger volumes.
The shift in personnel and security arrangements comes ahead of a busy summer travel season. AAA is forecasting the busiest Memorial Day travel weekend since 2005, with 2.6 million Americans set to travel by air over Memorial Day weekend — an increase of 1.6 percent over last year. Overall, Airlines 4 America predicts a 4 percent increase in air passengers this summer over 2015, which was already a record season.
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