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TSA Ends Private Contractor Screening Option  
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5734 posts, RR: 10
Posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7773 times:

The TSA program that allows airports to "opt out" of the standard TSA screening service and instead use private screening contractors (supervised by and using the rules and requirements of the TSA. Originally the TSA chief, John Pistole, stated he was neutral on the program and had no problem allowing airports to enter the program. The idea was a good one I thought but it appears that union and bureaucratic pressure got to the TSA chief and he is no longer approving new applicants. He has said he will not expand the program beyond the 16 airports currently under the program.

Quote:
TSA chief John Pistole said Friday he has decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports, saying he does not see any advantage to it.

Though little known, the Screening Partnership Program allowed airports to replace government screeners with private contractors who wear TSA-like uniforms, meet TSA standards and work under TSA oversight. Among the airports that have "opted out" of government screening are San Francisco and Kansas City.

The push to "opt out" gained attention in December amid the fury over the TSA's enhanced pat downs, which some travelers called intrusive.

Rep. John Mica, a Republican from Florida, wrote a letter encouraging airports to privatize their airport screeners, saying they would be more responsive to the public.

At that time, the TSA said it neither endorsed nor opposed private screening.

"If airports chose this route, we are going to work with them to do it," a TSA spokesman said in late December.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/01/29/tsa.private/index.html?hpt=T2

Too bad, hopefully new political pressure can be brought to bear to once again allow the program to run. The only way the TSA could ever hope to improve is if there is competition (which is, I an sure, why it is was halted).

Tugg

[Edited 2011-01-29 09:09:17]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23219 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7519 times:

Quoting tugger (Thread starter):
Among the airports that have "opted out" of government screening are San Francisco and Kansas City.

If I remember my TSA history correctly, that's not quite right. I think MCI, SFO and a couple of smaller airports were part of a pilot program put in place in late 2002 or early 2003 (by mid-2003 for sure) to see what private screeners can do. That's different from the much more recent "opting out" push by places like CLT.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4514 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7475 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):
If I remember my TSA history correctly, that's not quite right. I think MCI, SFO and a couple of smaller airports were part of a pilot program put in place in late 2002 or early 2003 (by mid-2003 for sure) to see what private screeners can do. That's different from the much more recent "opting out" push by places like CLT.

IIRC, there were five airports in the pilot program. ROC was one of them--I've been getting screened by McNeil there since 2002.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6844 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7398 times:

If I understand the program correctly, they have to do the enhanced pat downs too, so the drive was just political posturing.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3147 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7346 times:

Tisk. Tisk. The service provided by the contractors was so much professional, but it doesn't surprise me. For some reason, IMHO, I feel like the TSA was jealous, or even intimated by the private contractors.


E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlinercair1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1336 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7255 times:
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CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 1):
I feel like the TSA was jealous

One word - Union



rcair1
User currently offlinergreenftm From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 299 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7169 times:

What 16 airports are using private contractors?

Sounds like we have:
MCI
SFO
ROC
DCA?? (The picture in the article is DCO, but I highly doubt the nation's captial is using private contractors)
What are the remaining ones?

Not to derail this conversation, but what does the TSA do to prevent theft? I went through MCO on Monday, and a mother and daughter who looked as if they had never traveled before were going through everyone elses bins trying to find her stuff. In the process my bin got turned upside down and it took several minutes to find my phone, keys, wallet etc. During those couple minutes I seriously consider the fact they could have been stolen. MCO makes you line up to place your items on the belt (normal at most airports), and then get in another line to go through the metal detectors, which means you are away from your stuff a much longer period of time than normal.


User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7083 times:

Quoting rgreenftm (Reply 6):
Not to derail this conversation, but what does the TSA do to prevent theft?

Absolutely not a damn thing. This is why I'm starting to lock my bags when I go through screening and why I don't take my eyes off my bags from the moment they go in to the belt (in a very specific order), to the moment they come out.


User currently offlinehiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2177 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

I suspect the increasing numbers of airports exploring opting out prompted the change. Not because of any so called gov union but the real fear that if opt out expanded the TSA role would be diminished along with its power. It is extremely difficult to say everything is fine while more and more airports wish to opt out.

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23219 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6945 times:

Quoting rgreenftm (Reply 6):
DCA?? (The picture in the article is DCO, but I highly doubt the nation's captial is using private contractors)

Not DCA.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 7):
Absolutely not a damn thing.

Which was all right for a time - before puffer machines and now nude-o-scopes slowed down the lines, it was unusual for a passenger's bags to beat him through screening. Now, it's commonplace.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6529 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 3):
If I understand the program correctly, they have to do the enhanced pat downs too, so the drive was just political posturing.

Theoretically though it would be easier for the airport to fire a private contractor, or even demand removal of a single problem contractor employee, compared with having a TSA officer removed from duty. If I was the airport authority I would also have some sort of performance-based requirement, like passenger wait time no longer than 15 minutes.


User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6343 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9):
Which was all right for a time - before puffer machines and now nude-o-scopes slowed down the lines, it was unusual for a passenger's bags to beat him through screening. Now, it's commonplace.

To be fair, pre-TSA security theater, people would have stuff stolen all the time. It's nothing new. It's just easier now since bags and bins stack up while people go through the NoS. When puffers were around, those things were pretty quick and you were able to keep your eyes on your bags. With the NoS, you can't. With the backscatters, you are behind a wall, and turn your back (sometimes) to the belt.

And the TSA won't let you keep your wallets in your pocket so I wouldn't be surprised if more people have laptop or wallet thefts as the NoS become commonplace.


User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5899 times:

Quoting rgreenftm (Reply 6):
MCO makes you line up to place your items on the belt (normal at most airports), and then get in another line to go through the metal detectors, which means you are away from your stuff a much longer period of time than normal.

I would have a big problem with that.

Quoting chrisair (Reply 11):
And the TSA won't let you keep your wallets in your pocket so I wouldn't be surprised if more people have laptop or wallet thefts as the NoS become commonplace.

I go through DEN and ORD all the time and I have no problem keeping my wallet. I actually seen a screener tell a man the other day to take his wallet out of the bin and put in back in his pocket if he wanted to keep it!! A wallet should be just fine to keep in your pocket as long as it has no metal.



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5493 times:

Quoting UAL747DEN (Reply 12):
A wallet should be just fine to keep in your pocket as long as it has no metal.

They usually want them out of your pocket if your using the backscatter or millimeter wave scanners.


User currently offlinergreenftm From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 299 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5457 times:

I know I derailed the original topic here, so I'll repost my original question to bring things back on topic...what are the 16 airports with private security rather than TSA?

User currently offlineB4REAL From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 2652 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5367 times:

At SFO, it was weird as the uniforms of the contract agency looked exactly like that of the TSA, they just had the 3 letter acronym of the agency in use.

I am tossed on the topic, but am not surprised the opt-out is over.



B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
User currently offlineAirCanada787 From Canada, joined Nov 2010, 286 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4944 times:

Quoting rgreenftm (Reply 14):
what are the 16 airports with private security rather than TSA?

The 16 airports not using the TSA are:
San Francisco, CA
Kansas City, MO
Rochester, NY
Sioux Falls, SD
Jackson Hole, WY
Tupelo, MS
Key West, FL
Sonoma, CA
Roswell, NM
Havre City-County, MT
Lewiston, MT
Glasgow, MT
L.M. Clayton, MT
Sidney-Richland, MT
Dawson Community, MT
Frank Wiley Field, MT

[Edited 2011-01-29 18:30:23]


The mind, like a parachute, functions only when open.
User currently offlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4850 times:

SFB wanted to opt-out from TSA as well and use airport employees. MSNBC article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40888102/ns/travel-news/

SFB made a big hubbub that "we'll opt out for better service and no body scanners", and hired SFB-area Republican Congressman John Mica (the new House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman) to lobby on SFB's behalf. But when I passed through SFB to head back to FWA little more than 1 week ago, there were still TSA personnel at SFB. When I saw the TSA badges on the SFB security personnel, I thought that something must have went awry with SFB's plans to opt-out. I think I now know why...

Anyway, some of the airports that did opt-out under the Screening Partner Program were:
-SFO
-MCI
-ROC
-JAC
-TUP
-EYW
-SUX
-MLS
-SDY
-GDV
-OLF
-HVR
-GGW
-LWT
(the last seven are EAS airports in Montana)



"Did he really need the triple bypass? Or was it the miles?"
User currently offlinerefmannc From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4437 times:
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From U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

For Immediate Release Contact: Justin Harclerode
January 28, 2011 (202) 226-8767

Mica Statement on TSA Halting Expansion of Screening Program

Washington, DC – The following is the statement of U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) decision to not expand the Screening Partnership Program (SPP) at U.S. airports:

“It’s unimaginable that TSA would suspend the most successfully performing passenger screening program we’ve had over the last decade. The agency should concentrate on cutting some of the more than 3,700 administrative personnel in Washington who concocted this decision, and reduce the army of TSA employees that has ballooned to more than 62,000.

“Nearly every positive security innovation since the beginning of TSA has come from the contractor screening program. I intend to launch a full investigation and review of the matter.”


User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2167 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4316 times:

Quoting UAL747DEN (Reply 12):
I go through DEN and ORD all the time and I have no problem keeping my wallet. I actually seen a screener tell a man the other day to take his wallet out of the bin and put in back in his pocket if he wanted to keep it!! A wallet should be just fine to keep in your pocket as long as it has no metal.

It's not a problem even with a couple coins in it...unless they send you through the NoS. If you have it, they'll flag you for "extra screening" because they see a big blob in your butt.


User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2151 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4259 times:

Quoting refmannc (Reply 18):
I intend to launch a full investigation and review of the matter.”

Hopefully this comes to fruition and isn't just a bunch of hot air.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5712 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4088 times:

From the article:

Quote:
"The nation is secure in the sense that the safety of our skies will not be left in the hands of the lowest-bidder contractor, as it was before 9/11," said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Someone needs to smack that guy upside the head. The 9/11 hijackers didn't bring through anything that wasn't allowed, and several of them were correctly selected for secondary screening.

Not only that, but the private contractors now in use perform better in live tests, by orders of magnitude, than TSA agents.

I guess Family Guy was right. Just say "9/11" and you can get people to support anything.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4011 times:

Quoting chrisair (Reply 19):
It's not a problem even with a couple coins in it...unless they send you through the NoS. If you have it, they'll flag you for "extra screening" because they see a big blob in your butt.

Your talking about the naked machine right? I go through that thing in Denver at least 3 times a week and still have no problem with my wallet. I am wearing slacks so I don't use a big wallet, just a few credit cards and a drivers license though. I guess if I had my regular wallet it might be a problem?



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20241 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

I'm seeing both legislative and judicial pushback on this one.

And I very much hope it comes out in favor of the contractors.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26023 posts, RR: 50
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3778 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
I'm seeing both legislative and judicial pushback on this one.


   Legislative definitely.

Unionisation at the TSA has been a huge issue itself with the last head TSA nominee failing to get Congressional approval due to his perceived friendliness to labor.

I can very much see Congress (atleast the Republican side) push things that would cause the TSA to modify its stance in the future.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
25 DocLightning : This will be interesting because nobody wants to appear "soft on terror."
26 GoBoeing : What an idiotic, sad situation. A successful quadruple hijacking over US land was not enough. We deserve whatever is next, that is for sure. Totally d
27 rcair1 : Interesting - I have had just the opposite (DEN is my primary airport). They've chewed me out and made me go back. Of course, my wallet is a larger o
28 ckfred : Here's the problem. Virtually any job with the federal government requires U.S. citizenship. Wouldn't TSA be much better if we had some former Israeli
29 Post contains links LAXintl : John Mica new chair of the House Transportation Committee wow's to fight. Angry Mica to press for private airport screening option http://www.orlandos
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