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Dynamic workforce management at network screening facilities

The combination of current airport space constraints and limited Transportation Security Officers coupled with projected increases in air travelers and rising number of security threats will put more pressure on TSA staff and resources. The development of new operational and workforce management tools will be critical for the TSA in their efforts to continue to improve screening efficiency under these challenging conditions.


The research team is developing analytical solutions that prescribe operational plans that include checkpoint configurations (i.e., number of screening lanes and travel document checkers), officer schedules and work breaks, and movement of officers across workstations. The goal is to use the workforce efficiently while minimizing passenger wait times during the screening process. These decisions are based on operations research models of the interconnected security screening checkpoints and can be used dynamically to update the operational plan under changing conditions.

This project will give TSA planners tools and training to:

  • Prescribe checkpoint configurations (i.e., number of screening lanes and travel document checker stations) for each 15-minute interval of a day to minimize passenger wait times.
  • Determine officer work schedules and work breaks while maintaining the checkpoints’ expected performance.
  • Develop plans to route officers across checkpoints based on time-varying passenger arrival patterns.
  • Evaluate the performance of any given set of officers’ work and break schedules and routing plans via analytical and simulation models


The goal of this project is to assist TSA’s response to changing workplace demands. This includes supporting the agency’s efforts to improve the performance of airport screening operations with new, data-driven tools and training that will increase safety and improve the passenger experience.

Research Leadership Team 

Principal Investigator: Jorge Sefair, University of Florida
Co-PI: Ron Askin, Arizona State University
Co-PI: Jose Espiritu, University of Texas at El Paso
Co-PI: Eduardo Perez, Texas State University 
Co-PI: Kelvin Cheu, University of Texas at El Paso

Operations research and systems analysis


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The CAOE is committed to developing innovative tools and techniques to safeguard our homeland from potential threats and vulnerabilities.