Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Transportation Home  |  Discussions  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |      Twitter |    Facebook   |  phone Alerts
Posted at 5:41 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

TSA: Just say no to private screening

By Washington Post Editors

The Transportation Security Administration plans to stop allowing airports to hire private contractors to conduct passenger screening, according to recent statements on the agency's Web site.

A Monday post on The TSA Blog said the agency "is still accepting applications, but unless a clear and substantial advantage to do so emerges in the future, the requests will not be approved."

TSA Administrator John Pistole recently issued the following statement on the contractor screening program.

"Shortly after beginning as TSA Administrator, I directed a full review of TSA policies with the goal of helping the agency evolve into a more agile, high-performing organization that can meet the security threats of today and the future. As part of that review, I examined the contractor screening program and decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports as I do not see any clear or substantial advantage to do so at this time. The airports that currently use contractor screening will continue to be regulated by TSA and required to meet our high security standards."

Some of the nation's biggest airports responded to recent public outrage over security screening by weighing whether they should hire private firms to replace the Transportation Security Administration. Sixteen airports, including San Francisco and Kansas City International Airport, have made the switch since 2002.

However, employees of private contractors are required by federal law to undergo the same training, use the same pat-down techniques and operate the same equipment - such as full-body scanners - that the TSA does.

Airports that choose private screeners must submit the request to the TSA. There are no specific criteria for approval, but federal officials can decide whether to grant the request "based on the airport's record of compliance on security regulations and requirements." The TSA pays for the cost of the screening and has the final say on which company gets the contract.

Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.), the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, had written to 200 of the nation's largest airports, including the body that oversees Dulles and Reagan National, urging them to consider switching to private companies.


Related stories:

TSA debuts new scanner software

All U.S. flight passengers checked against watch lists

Protests don't delays Thanksgiving travel

Most Americans support scanners

Who is exempt from airport security?

TSA responds to child pat-down video

TSA discourages body-scan boycotts

Government scientists offer alternative to scanner images

Instead of a TSA airport search he'll take the train

TSA officials get 'pat-downs'

Will you undergo a pat-down?

Full-body scanners installed at Dulles

By Washington Post Editors  | February 7, 2011; 5:41 PM ET
Categories:  Airports, Aviation  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Super Bowl crackdown nets many DUI arrests
Next: Snow disrupting some flights

Comments

What a shameless move to defend his agency's turf. He knows that if airports realize they have a choice they'll start switching away from employing the TSA's rude, ill-tempered losers for screening.

So it's not okay to have private screeners following the same procedures "unless a clear and substantial advantage" exists? Why is airport screening a magical realm where logic, common sense and the Fourth Amendment do not apply?

Posted by: bokamba | February 7, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Administrator Pistol makes a good point. Why would he want to spend more taxpayer money than is required to do the job? Should we demand higher costs? An Independent, CBO study, commissioned by Republicans, during the Bush administration, places the cost of private screeners 18% higher than federal screeners. Simply put, private screening companies cost us all more money than federal screeners. I for one think we pay enough already. Great job mr. Pistol. Thank you for helping us control the national debt.

Posted by: barryeod | February 8, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Radiation has a vary small but real effect, and the fact that radiation exposure from all sources can add up over one's lifetime, imaging tests that use radiation should only be done for a good reason." ----American Cancer Society---. TSA workers stand next to the machine. They don't know better they get as much radiation as you do. BUT they stand there all day long. Day after day It's not about IF they are going to get Cancer. It's only about WHEN. Thank you Administrator Pistol

Posted by: gwolfpack | February 8, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Of course Mica is encouraging airports to switch...the company that takes over for the TSA is based in his district! Unless there are significant cost savings (or customer service gains) then it isn't worth it.

Posted by: Razor04 | February 8, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

You know our government told us that cigarettes were good for us. Asbestos wont hurt you. Lead pant is the best pant there is. Agent orange saves lives. The underwear bomber was for real. There are some BAD people out there that want to hurt us. WE need to walk thought then Scanners. It’s just a little radiation. Scanners don’t cause Cancer.
Just saying that sounds like a lot of them Weapons Of Mass Destruction to me.
The American Cancer Society says Radiation has a vary small but real effect, and the fact that radiation exposure from all sources can add up over one's lifetime, imaging tests that use radiation should only be done for a good reason
TSA workers stand next to the machine. They don't know better they get as much radiation as you do. BUT they stand there all day long. Day after day It's not about IF they are going to get Cancer but when. As for me I just don’t need no more Radiation

Posted by: gwolfpack | February 8, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company