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TSA screening at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the Transportation Security Administration issued an internal memo on May 30 warning that 131 of the largest U.S. airports will face staffing shortages as in June, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The state of play: The memo asks TSA office workers to volunteer for up to 45 days to help run queues and perform administrative tasks, with summer travel expected to ramp up, per the Post.

The big picture: TSA has resorted to other measures to boost staffing amid the expected travel surge in recent weeks, including offering $500 monthly bonuses to screening officers at short-staffed airports, expanding employees' overtime hours, and making some part-time workers full-time, per the post.

  • Union leaders told the Post that TSA had also required some employees to work on their days off.
  • TSA has hired more than 3,000 employees in the last few months and aims to hire another 3,000 by the end of summer, per the Post.

What they're saying: “With this increase in volume, TSA must maintain operational readiness and ensure that the screening workforce is available to perform screening functions,” Darby LaJoye, TSA's acting administrator, wrote in the memo obtained by the Post.

Go deeper

United Airlines staff with vaccine religious exemptions face unpaid leave

A United Airlines plane landing in Lisbon. Photo: Horacio Villalobos Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

United Airlines staffers who are granted religious exemptions for the company's COVID-19 vaccination mandate will be placed on temporary unpaid leave starting Oct. 2, the airline told employees in a memo.

Driving the news: United last month became the first major U.S. airline to institute a vaccine mandate for employees, and acknowledged then it would consider exemptions for religious, personal or medical exemptions.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
14 mins ago - Science

A new NASA astronaut corps for the next era in space

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA's next crewed missions to the Moon will need a larger, differently-trained and multi-skilled astronaut corps to deliver on the agency's ambitions.

Why it matters: NASA has plans to fly astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2025 and ultimately establish a long-term presence there. That goal requires a robust corps with new, specialized training in what it takes to live and work on the Moon — and NASA needs to start planning now.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

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