TSA celebrates 20 year anniversary of country's first checkpoint at BWI Airport

Officials gathered at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) Friday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the country's first airport security checkpoint.

Officials with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) held a celebration at the airport Friday morning.

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BWI was the first airport to implement TSA security oversight in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The airport's checkpoints launched on April 30, 2002. 

First TSA checkpoint established at BWI Airport on April 30, 2002 (Credit: Transportation Security Administration)

BWI played a key role in the TSA's development. The airport served as a testing ground during the early days of the TSA, allowing officials to test new policies and procedures before they were implemented at other airports across the country.

The TSA was established in November 2001 thanks to the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA).

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When it first launched, TSA consisted of about 100 people working at folding tables in the basement of the Department of Transportation headquarters. Today, 20 years later, there are 430 federalized airports and a workforce of about 60,000 employees nationwide.