Major Airport Will Evict TSA Screeners
Orlando Sanford International Airport officials say they will take advantage of a new law, and try again to opt out of using TSA workers to screen passengers. They want to hire their own screeners to do that, but using federal standards and under federal oversight.
Orlando Airport President Larry Dale says he's tired of hearing the horror stories about passengers' encounters with TSA screeners. Dale says he wants to evict the TSA and provide a more “customer friendly” security operation.
Dale originally applied to opt out of TSA security two years ago, but the agency rejected his request. TSA will have a harder time turning him down this time because Florida Congressman John Mica amended the TSA authorization law to say the agency "shall consider" opt-out requests from airports, rather than "may consider," as it previously read.
Mica wrote the law creating the TSA after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, but he now says the agency has become a bloated, inefficient bureaucracy with too many managers among its 67,000 employees.
It will likely take months for TSA to consider Orlando's application, and even longer to approve it. Furthermore, even if the request is approved, the private screeners will still be paid by the TSA.
Orlando wants to join 17 other US airports that have opted out of TSA screening and installed private security. They include San Francisco, Kansas City, and smaller airports such as Key West, Florida, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, among others.