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Nation's airports are not required to have TSA screeners

Nation's airports are not required to have TSA screeners

Old Nov 16, 10, 7:03 am
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Nation's airports are not required to have TSA screeners

Wow! This was a surprise to me.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/po...108259869.html

Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screeningBy: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
November 15, 2010

Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. "As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law."

In addition to being large, impersonal, and top-heavy, what really worries critics is that the TSA has become dangerously ineffective. Its specialty is what those critics call "security theater" -- that is, a show of what appear to be stringent security measures designed to make passengers feel more secure without providing real security. "That's exactly what it is," says Mica. "It's a big Kabuki dance."

Last edited by essxjay; Nov 16, 10 at 8:00 am Reason: trimmed out of respect for copyrights
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Old Nov 16, 10, 7:08 am
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San Francisco has private screeners (Team SFO). They still follow all TSA stupidity and are overseen by the TSA, so it does little to nothing to help.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 7:17 am
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The reason the airports do not go with private screeners is because of liability.

If that was ever hashed out, that would be a big hurdle to clear to getting rid of the TSA.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
San Francisco has private screeners (Team SFO). They still follow all TSA stupidity and are overseen by the TSA, so it does little to nothing to help.
At what level of management does TSA take over? After the TSO? Anything that requires a suit and not a uniform?
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Old Nov 16, 10, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
San Francisco has private screeners (Team SFO). They still follow all TSA stupidity and are overseen by the TSA, so it does little to nothing to help.
While I agree they follow the same rules I have to say they have consistently been among the most polite and helpful checkpoint staffers I have run into.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 7:32 am
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I was pretty stunned to read this and in fact was going to post the link. Thanks for beating me to it. I wish the Drudge tagline wasn't "Republicans Take Aim at TSA Screening" - this should be a bipartisan cause and labeling one party or the other just divides and diminishes the message...
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Old Nov 16, 10, 8:45 am
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If the airports opt out, do they get their balls touched?
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Old Nov 16, 10, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by JumboD View Post
If the airports opt out, do they get their balls touched?
If they had any, they would have opted out long ago.
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Old Nov 16, 10, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by Al Coholic View Post
If they had any, they would have opted out long ago.
^
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Old Nov 16, 10, 2:15 pm
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Airports can opt out of TSA program

Amid all the outrage, here's something I did not know. From Byron York at the Washington Examiner:
Did you know that the nation's airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening. "When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. "As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law."
What will it take to get an airport to make the change?
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Old Nov 16, 10, 2:21 pm
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A number of studies...have shown that contractors perform a bit better than federal screeners, and they're also more flexible and open to innovation.
Not overwhelming, but it's a start.

So, while we're all busy writing letters and emails to our airlines, airports and various senators and representatives, it would seem we should all take a few extra minutes to send a letter/email of support to Rep. Mica, strongly encouraging him to back up efforts to make changes:

Contact John Mica
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Old Nov 16, 10, 2:30 pm
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...screeners.html
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Old Nov 16, 10, 2:40 pm
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Old Nov 16, 10, 3:02 pm
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Why can't airports compromise with TSA and say "You can keep your contract here, but these particular screening methods are off limits."?
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Old Nov 16, 10, 3:21 pm
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Team SFO has become every bit as bad as TSA. Airports can have their own contractors, but they still have to screen to Federal standards.
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