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Airport asks for private screeners

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The Orlando Sanford International Airport is reattempting to opt out of using Transportation Security Administration employees for screening under new rules that should make it easier for airports to contract the work.

A law enacted last month requires TSA to approve applications from airports that want to contract their passenger screening and security services if contractors can do the job as good or better than federal screeners without affecting costs. TSA has to provide feedback on the basis for any decision, including how denied applications could be improved. 

Four Montana airports and the Springfield Branson National Airport in Missouri applied for the  Screening Partnership Program (SPP) but were all denied last January. The Orlando Sanford International Airport applied for the program a few years ago but was denied, according to the Orlando Sun Sentinel

Currently, 16 airports including San Francisco International and Kansas City International use contractors to screen passengers. The bill would allow any of the nation’s 450 airports that use federal screeners to switch to contractors.

“Airport operators have expressed tremendous interest in the SPP and that expansion beyond the small fraction of U.S. airports that currently participate in the SPP will allow TSA to focus on security and oversight activities,” Republican Reps. John Mica, Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz said in a March 13 letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole.

Pistole stopped approving requests from airports to replace federal screeners with private screeners last year. Pistole told lawmakers at a recent House hearing that he did not see any “clear and substantial advantage” to expanding the program when he became TSA administrator in 2010.

But lawmakers argued that ”clear and substantial” was a standard added by the administrator.

The House members asked Pistole to provide a timetable for transitioning to the new law, which requires him to reassess airport applications denied last year according to the new review process and standards.

Comments

  1. Cal Stevens Says:
    March 15th, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    What a turn around of events! First, they had President Bush establish the Homeland Security and the TSA. Now, they want private contractors to operate airports. The first time something happen at the airport, there will be an out cry for the government to do something. Can’t have it both ways.

  2. really Says:
    March 16th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    What fools….. nothing is going to change.. the government sets the rules ..its the same thing except now the taxpayers pay a private company.. another layer of bureaucracy and another step away from blame… and congress especially republicans will start getting lobby money again like they got before 9/11

    right now people can ***** to congress…… when it goes private lobby money will dictate policy

    also the pay and benifits will go DOWN turn over will go through the roof ….. high turn over is a security risk……my guess is that it will cost taxpayes much much more a year or 2 from now…but those in power will keep those costs well hidden ……..

  3. SO TKE PEOPLE'S DIGNITY!?! Says:
    April 8th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    The priority is to STOP the unnecessary pat downs, the
    ridiculous removal of diapers on the elderly. The pathetic
    removal of breast pro esthetics & the list goes on & on & on
    & on…………………..

    For frequent flyers WE stand firmly behind private screening
    companies! Much rather PAY more than remove the dignity from
    Travelers!

    Needs to STOP!!!!

    TSA is a complete scam, false sense of security. The passengers
    are the one’s that are physically tackling the security situations thus far!