Unlike other airports, TSA shortage is not serious at Alpena terminal | News, Sports, Jobs

News photo by Steve Schulwitz Alpena County Regional Airport Manager Steve Smigelski discusses some of the rules and regulations overseen by employees of the Transportation Security Administration. Alpena Airport has no shortage of TSA employees, but some airports across the country have seen travelers wait long because they are understaffed.

NAFTA – Many airports across the country are struggling to maintain a full team of Transportation Security Administration employees, but so far the Alpena County Regional Airport has no staffing issues.

TSA employees screen passengers and their baggage before boarding, but some airports need extra help and are using incentives to attract new employees.

Alpena County Regional Airport Manager Steve Smigelski said that to date at Alpena there has not been a shortage of employees and there are enough staff on duty. TSA to move the line of people safely and efficiently.

He said, like other airports, there was fear the TSA could lose employees due to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but on Tuesday a federal judge blocked the term of the president, which, according to Smigelski, will lead to more TSA employees continue to work.

“We’re at full strength and the mandate hasn’t really affected us here,” he said. ” We are well. “

A full complement of employees at Alpena Airport kept things busy for many months.

Lots of people bought tickets last month and this helped the airport surpass its annual goal of 10,000 boardings which qualifies it for a $ 1 million grant from the federal government.

A boarding pass is a paid passenger at the airport, most of which use SkyWest Airlines to travel to Detroit and beyond.

Airport manager Steve Smigelski said the airport recorded a total of 1,304 boardings in November and that amount brought the total boardings for the year to 10,790.

Grant funds can be used for necessary improvements or repairs at the airport. Smigelski said that in the past the money had been used to purchase necessary equipment, such as a runway sweeper in 2018.

December got off to a rocky start, however, as poor runway conditions after a recent snowstorm forced a delayed flight and the airport closed for several hours.

Smigelski said airport workers plowed the runway, but after the snow was scraped off, there was a layer of ice underneath. Special sand was used to try and secure the grip of the incoming aircraft, but the strong winds swept it away and forced the jet going from Detroit to Alpena to turn around.

The flight finally landed in Alpena around 7:00 p.m. when it was scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

“We face Mother Nature every day, and sometimes she wins,” Smolinski said.

TSA is looking for more employees for Alpena Airport, as well as Emmet County’s Pellston Regional Airport, as more people fly in COVID-19 than before when there were restrictions in place that kept people home more.

On its website, TSA promotes its jobs, compensation, and incentives.

For an employee hired at Pellston Airport before June 4 of next year, the TSA is offering a registration bonus of up to $ 2,000 and an additional $ 1,000 after integration. An employee who works for a full year after being hired will receive an additional $ 1,000 after one year of service.

Onboarding is the process of onboarding new employees into the agency which includes the orientation program for new employees

The federal contractor is also looking for TSA employees for Alpena, but at a lower incentive amount. The TSA is offering a connection bonus of up to $ 1,000 at Alpena Airport and $ 500 after onboarding. The employee receives an additional $ 500 after one year of service. This initiative applies to new TSO recruits who are hired before September 30.

Jessica Mayle, public affairs specialist for the TSA’s Great Lakes region, said the incentives had been in use for about a year. She said that to her knowledge there had not been long wait times at Alpena or Pellston, and no flights canceled due to personnel issues. Mayle said additional staff are needed, however, as more people are traveling than at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the moment, we have enough staff to meet the current demand and handle the volume of customers that we are seeing right now,” she said. “Incentives help us be competitive in the job market, attract the best talent and get people to consider these jobs. “

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