Passenger traffic is up at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) and that means something else may need to go up as well – the number of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents.

Airport officials are currently assessing and discussing the need for more agents.  The good news for PTIA is that passenger traffic is up at the airport, but the bad news is that the increased number of passengers has been putting more demand on existing TSA staff and increasing the length of security lines.

One reason more and more passengers have been deciding to fly in and out of PTIA rather than Charlotte-Douglas International or Raleigh-Durham International is because the lines for security – and the lines for everything else frankly – are shorter at PTIA.  Airport officials want to keep it that way.

Piedmont Triad Airport Authority Member Jim White said it’s critical that the airport maintain that advantage and he said TSA agents are important to the “Fly PTI” campaign.

White said he wants to see enough of the agents and also wants to make sure they are not overworked.

“They play an intricate role in ‘Fly from PTI,” White said.  “If they slow down or become a bit more involved, that could inevitably hurt us.  They contribute to our reputation.”

Airport staff is looking into the situation.

White said that he would hate for existing TSA staff to have to work too much overtime and perhaps be disgruntled about that since that could also hurt the customer experience at PTIA.

Airport officials said the TSA tracks passenger traffic and attempts to shift its staff at PTIA around depending on the various demands and the peak travel times.

PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker said TSA bases the overall number of agents on the amount of passenger traffic.

“So certainly they are looking at it,” he said of a potential uptick in TSA agents at the airport.