5 years ago
From The Daily Caller:
Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration halted a program that allowed airports to privatize their screeners, citing safety concerns, but airport administrators say TSA stopped the program with little warning and without adequate justification.
The Daily Caller spoke with three Montana airports — Glacier Park International Airport, Missoula International Airport and Bert Mooney Airport — which all said they were encouraged by TSA to apply for the privatization program — known as the Screening Partnership Program (SPP). All three airports’ applications were denied in January.
One airport director even said TSA agents actively protested the airport’s attempt to privatize, going so far as to stand at gates in uniform and tell passengers they would be less safe if the airport joined the SPP.
For its part, TSA said it stopped the program because of security concerns.
“It is critical that TSA retains its ability to operate as a flexible nationwide security network,” a TSA spokesperson wrote. “TSA’s capacity to push out intelligence information to our frontline workforce and quickly change procedures based on threat and intelligence is paramount to effective security. Further expansion of privatized screening will increase the complexity of this process.”
After 9/11, TSA was created and given authority over passenger and bag screening, but airports were allowed by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act to opt out after two years and join the SPP. Sixteen airports in the US currently use privately-contracted screeners.
Cindi Martin, the director of Glacier Park International Airport, said her airport struggled with adequate staffing under TSA.
“From the beginning the airport experienced staffing cuts, such that it became difficult to process passengers and bags during our summers swells,” she said.
When a government agency or bureau can’t compete with the private sector, its reflexive tendency is to bully the private sector into submission with rules, regulations, infractions and fines. The TSA is nothing more than a jobs program, and I have pointed out before that when we start caring about security rather than government jobs programs, there are other things we can do to minimize risk against terrorism than grope people, bully companies and airports, and spew scare propaganda.