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  • Sacramento Airport to Bid TSA Adieu

    Late last week, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials announced that they had preliminarily approved Sacramento International Airport to begin moving forward with privatizing their screening workforce.

    The move is part of TSA’s Security Partnership Program (SPP), the nearly eight-year-old program allowing U.S. airports to opt out of federal screening and instead privatize their security forces. If Sacramento receives final approval from TSA, it would become the third major airport to participate in the SPP program.

    In all, 16 airports currently participate in the SPP program. This small number of participants is partially due to long-standing TSA resistance to the program, which culminated early last year when TSA head John Pistole said the agency would no longer expand the program to additional airports. Pistole justified this decision by claiming that he did not see “any clear or substantial advantage to doing so at this time.”

    Thankfully, many in Congress were of a different opinion. In this year’s Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill, Congress passed a provision requiring that TSA consider all SPP applications in a fair, timely, and transparent manner. The legislation further dictates that any application that does not threaten to “not compromise security or detrimentally affect the cost-efficiency or the effectiveness of screening” must be approved.

    TSA has long tried to argue that use of privatized screening costs anywhere from 3 percent to 9 percent more than use of federal screening, while other opponents have argued that the SPP program threatens security by reducing TSA flexibility and cohesion. According to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, however, U.S. taxpayers would save “$1 billion over five years if the Nation’s top 35 airports operated as efficiently as [San Francisco International Airport] does under the SPP model.” This same study also concluded that SPP screeners are 65 percent more efficient than federal screeners.

    Even better, all of this comes at no apparent cost to security. In fact, privatization of the airport security workforce is likely to enhance security by allowing TSA to get out of the personnel business and truly focus on protecting our nation’s airports.

    It may still take over a year for Sacramento Airport to fully bid TSA screeners adieu. Nevertheless, TSA’s preliminary approval of Sacramento’s SPP application represents an important step forward for the program.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Sacramento Airport to Bid TSA Adieu

    1. Tommy K says:

      What will become of the naked photo scanners and the retaliatory pat-downs for those who opt-out, under privatization?

    2. I fail to see how this changes things. According to numerous other news sources, the TSA is still calling the shots for the private organization, from hiring to firing. The fox guarding the henhouse has simply outsourced the guard duty to other animals while keeping them to his rules for doing so. Private companies should be allowed to compete with each other openly for the best balance of security and safeguarding of liberties.

      We need to rid ourselves of this TSA predator. Contact your legislators to _fully_ kick out the TSA, defund them, and shut them down. They are gaining WAY too much power and threaten to undermine the fourth amendment completely.

    3. I fail to see how this changes things. According to numerous other news sources, the TSA is still calling the shots for the private organization, from hiring to firing. The fox guarding the henhouse has simply outsourced the guard duty to the other animals while keeping them to his rules for doing so. Private companies should be allowed to compete. The winners will be the companies that find the perfect balance between true security and preservation of liberty.

      We need to rid ourselves of the fox. Contact your legislators to _fully_ kick out the TSA, defund them, and shut them down. They are gaining WAY too much power and threaten to undermine the fourth amendment completely.

    4. KJinAZ says:

      This sure sounds like a good idea. Let's sub-subcontract our security, and let the bankrupt cities take over. Yea this will make things better…LOL. Anything the federal government can screw up, the cities in California can screw up better.

    5. whoopie says:

      Those TSA Blue Bellies will probably just set up shop out in the parking lot.

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