Airports are taking a stand against the TSA’s underperformance. The number of TSA screeners has dropped, leading to long wait times causing passengers to miss their flights. Heritage’s David Inserra explained:
“It’s gotten so bad that, earlier this month, the Port Authority (which operates Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia airports) notified the TSA that it was ‘exploring the merits of participating in the Screening Partnership Program to enhance flexibility in the assignments and operating hours of front line screening staff.’
The ‘Screening Partnership Program,’ or SPP, was included in the 2001 law that created the TSA as a way to test whether private security screeners, operating under TSA oversight, could provide the same level of service as the newly minted security agency. And there are good reasons to think they could.
Multiple studies have found that SPP screeners provide security at least as good as that provided by the TSA. They’ve also found that SPP screeners are cheaper and could save as much as $200 million a year if used at major airports across the U.S.”
And SPP screeners tend to outperform their TSA counterparts in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction. One study found that private screeners at the San Francisco airport were 65 percent more efficient than their federal counterparts in Los Angeles.”
However if an airport wants to switch to SPP, then they will have to submit the request to the TSA to review. In addition, the TSA selects the company that will replace the screeners based on whichever contractor meets the basic performance standards and has the lowest cost. Therefore, Americans should not expect a quick change in the screening process at airports.
Do you believe the TSA should have the power to find new screening companies or should each airport have the freedom to make their own choice?