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Houston airport closed checkpoint Sunday due to 'staffing issues' stemming from government shutdown

Posted at 6:44 AM, Jan 14, 2019

A security checkpoint inside the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston closed Sunday evening due to "staffing issues associated with the partial shutdown of the federal government."

The airport said the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint and ticketing counter inside Terminal B are closed, but flights will continue to operate as normal and depart from different terminals.

The security checkpoint remained closed Monday morning, according to a tweet from the airport.

"Passengers are encouraged to arrive early and give themselves extra time to check in for their flights and to clear the security checkpoints," the airport said in a statement Sunday night.

TSA spokesman Jim Gregory told CNN the department was aware of the situation in Houston.

"As we have stated previously, airports in certain locations will begin exercising consolidation options during peak periods," he said. "These decisions will be made at the local level."

The closing follows a similar move by Miami International Airport , which closed one of its concourses over the weekend because of an "increased number of TSA screeners not reporting to work."

A Miami airport spokesman said TSA workers were calling in sick at double the normal rate, leaving managers uncertain of whether they would have enough workers to operate all checkpoints throughout normal hours.

Close to 51,000 TSA agents are working without pay or on furlough. On Friday, TSA Administrator David Pekoske announced all TSA employees who worked December 22 -- the last day in that pay period -- would receive pay for the day by Tuesday. Officers who worked during the holiday travel season will also see $500 in bonuses.