On any given day, before the COVID-19 global pandemic, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened nearly 2.3 million passengers in the United States of America at 440 federalized airports. In order to accomplish this task, the TSA employs a diverse mixture of security measures, including:

  • Approximately 50,000 transportation security officers
  • Nearly 950 imaging technology machines
  • More than 350 explosives specialists
  • More than 1,000 canine teams

Beyond its well-known responsibility for securing airport locations in the United States, the TSA also has responsibility for other security obligations, such as inspecting foreign airports with flights departing to the United States, inspecting billions of tons of cargo annually, and securing more than 4,000 maritime ports and terminals and more than 610,000 bridges.

The combined domestic and international efforts of the TSA both utilize and generate large amounts of logistical, operational, and security data. In keeping with the mission and vision of the agency, the TSA seeks to harness new approaches, as well as innovations, from other industries to improve overall security effectiveness, operational efficiency, and passenger security screening experience.

TSA MISSION: Protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

TSA VISION: An agile security agency, embodied by a professional workforce, that engages its partners and the American people to outmatch a dynamic threat.

Of particular interest to the agency are approaches that provide insight into the following topics:

SITUATIONAL AND/OR OPERATIONAL AWARENESS: How can the TSA maintain situational and/or operational awareness in a variety of environments (e.g. airports, cargo, bridges, maritime, etc.), with or without on-site personnel?

SECURITY SCREENINGS: How can the TSA leverage the power of passengers before, during, and after security screenings without sacrificing effectiveness?

PASSENGER ARRIVALS: How can passengers provide and share information about their impending airport arrival to facilitate more efficient screening processes?

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL TRANSFERS: How can passengers arriving at a U.S. airport on an international flight more efficiently transfer to domestic flights without diminishing security?

COVID-19 RECOVERY: How can the TSA enhance or alter current operations, procedures, or policies to contend with the changing dynamics in a post-COVID-19 transportation environment?

We invite innovators, organizations, and the general public from across the country to submit responses with approaches or technologies that re-envision how the TSA operates, including how the agency generates and utilizes data to improve security, efficiency, and passenger security screening experience. The Power of Passengers Challenge is open to all US citizens. View a complete version of the official rules here.