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jetblastdubai
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ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:37 pm

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world's busiest, has issued a warning to the US Transportation Safety Administration to get its act together or be replaced.

According to a letter from Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Miguel Southwell to TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, the airport's security screening checkpoints are woefully understaffed with no sign of significant improvement in sight.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/worlds...t-airport-just-told-153012402.html

If TSA is successfully replaced at one major airport, the rest are bound to follow suit.
 
NoTime
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:55 pm

Good. Kick them out and get some competent, accountable folks in there.
 
jetwet1
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:55 pm

Interesting, of all the major airports I go through I always found ATL to be the easiest when it comes to the TSA. Guess I just got lucky.
 
cedarjet
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:56 pm

San Francisco (that famously hippie, big government city) have always had their own private security, provided by Covenant Security (CAS). Their uniforms looks like TSA but they say CAS instead of TSA. Not that they do a great job of throughput, lines there can be as bad as anywhere else. But at least the precedent exists. Go Atlanta!
 
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WesternDC6B
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:11 pm

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 2):
Interesting, of all the major airports I go through I always found ATL to be the easiest when it comes to the TSA. Guess I just got lucky.

Yes, you did, and am glad you did.

I have had ATL as my port of entry on several international trips. The TSA personnel in the transiting-passenger TSA area were always rude; liked to make up their own rules; and if you asked for hand screening, you were treated even more rudely. One of those clowns "ordered" me to get into the scanner. I of course refused because I know a hand inspection can be had for the asking, and I always ask. I have a form of leukemia. "The machines are perfectly safe!" Of course they are, Uncle Sam says so.   No, thanks.

I've been through security in several places overseas, and the only place where they are as rude as ATL is LHR. I was always treated with dignity and respect at other overseas locations.

My travel is now considerably reduced, but even so, I make a point of NOT using ATL as a port of entry when I return to the US from overseas.

[Edited 2016-02-19 10:13:36]
 
BravoOne
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:37 pm

While they are at it maybe Seattle should get the TSA boot as well. Under staffed or out right closed check points. Just one more reason to avoid the Seattle experience.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:54 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Thread starter):
If TSA is successfully replaced at one major airport, the rest are bound to follow suit.

IIRC the two busiest airports with private screeners are SFO and MCI. I've always had pleasant experiences at MCI. My experiences at SFO have been more mixed (and, as pointed out above, the lines at SFO can be pretty gnarly). I'm not sure that the private screeners, as a group, are any better or worse than TSA. TSA similarly has good and bad operations.
 
sccutler
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:56 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 6):
I'm not sure that the private screeners, as a group, are any better or worse than TSA. TSA similarly has good and bad operations.

The difference is, the airport sponsor has much greater latitude in demanding and enforcing performance standards with a private vendor.
 
rta
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:58 pm

I didn't realize U.S. airports could elect to not use TSA. I see some listed like SFO and MCI. Any others out there? Are there any benefits to using TSA?

Also in my experience, TSA seems to get things moving quickly enough at ATL, compared to some of the airports I fly to.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:03 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 7):
The difference is, the airport sponsor has much greater latitude in demanding and enforcing performance standards with a private vendor.

Absolutely, but as we see at SFO, that does not always lead to good results. There are some airports like JAX where TSA consistently does a very good job. I'm not sure how much of that is on TSA and how much is on the airport. JAX always seems to have a lot of Airport and TSA managers in and around the checkpoint.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:07 pm

Even if an airport hires private security, that private security firm is required to be in compliance with all TSA rules.
 
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jetblastdubai
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:13 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9):
JAX always seems to have a lot of Airport and TSA managers in and around the checkpoint.

That doesn't sound too cost-effective. I'm sure when the lines get backed up these Airport and TSA "managers" jump right in and help speed things up.   
 
Cubsrule
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:17 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 11):
I'm sure when the lines get backed up these Airport and TSA "managers" jump right in and help speed things up.

Actually, they staff pretty well. I most commonly fly from JAX on Monday mornings. There's always a line, but they are generally fully staffed and it moves.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:24 pm

Post 9/11 government allowed a trial program for airports to contract with private companies for screening services.

The private company however must operate identical to TSA procedures and have direct TSA management oversight.

In 2012 budget this trial program was made permanent with a path for airports to apply and receive the waiver.

As of last fall there were 19 US airports with screening services provided by private companies.

Obviously there is a cost component to this, with for profit screening companies often being more expensive, though the hope is that they operate more efficiently with staffing to make up.

Frankly, I am not sold on private screening being much better in the sense of being polite or being a more pleasant experience.
Personally I believe this really comes more down the regional differences, the facility set up and staffing levels. At the end of the day, both the TSA and private vendors generally hire the same employees, which must work under the stressful rapid paced environment. At a mega airport like ATL, I doubt the experience would vary much.
 
jacobin777
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:41 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 13):
Frankly, I am not sold on private screening being much better in the sense of being polite or being a more pleasant experience.
Personally I believe this really comes more down the regional differences, the facility set up and staffing levels. At the end of the day, both the TSA and private vendors generally hire the same employees, which must work under the stressful rapid paced environment. At a mega airport like ATL, I doubt the experience would vary much.

  

I don't know if its me but I rarely have had problems with TSA and private screeners @SFO. I'm not saying that I haven't had a few bad experiences but I do fly 30-40 times per year the past 10-12years so I'm in and out of an airport quite a bit. Most of it is SFO (Terminal 2) and ORD (Terminal 3) but there are some JFK, LGA, DFW, SJC and MIA in the mix as well.

TSA "PreCheck" does help about 80% of the time and even if the lines are long they tend to move quickly. I recommend it.
 
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jetblastdubai
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:47 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 12):
There's always a line, but they are generally fully staffed and it moves.

My home airport gets backed up as well but they do little to help stream-line the process. The ID check line can be 50-deep and the TSA-pre completely empty. I'm TSA pre so it's really fast for me but even when the TSA-pre line dries up to nothing, no one makes any effort to peel off a few in the other line and run them thru the pre-line when absolutely no TSA-pre customers would be inconvenienced at all.

They're also so over-staffed that the TSA agents will then wander through the boarding gate area and re-check random passenger IDs...as if the original ID check wasn't sufficient. Then there's the ever-popular secondary bag check by TSA at the bottom of the jetbridge, just before you enter the aircraft. That does nothing except slow down the boarding process.

I personally cannot see any downside to having a private, for profit, company performing this task. Competition creates accountability and incentive to perform better.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:55 pm

Quoting jetblastdubai (Reply 15):
I personally cannot see any downside to having a private, for profit, company performing this task. Competition creates accountability and incentive to perform better.

Competition is what destroyed US airline security pre 9/11.

Companies like Argenbright, DynCorp, Aviation Safeguards quickly fell in the trap of cheaper is better as airlines and airports kept pressuring them on pricing.

I don't see private screening today ending any differently unless you can install a hard firewall where pricing is not the factor in vendor selection.
 
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United_fan
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:26 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 16):
Competition is what destroyed US airline security pre 9/11.

Every item that was brought on by the highjackers was allowed at the time.
 
Freshside3
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:30 pm

Quoting BravoOne (Reply 5):
While they are at it maybe Seattle should get the TSA boot as well. Under staffed or out right closed check points. Just one more reason to avoid the Seattle experience

Especially not opening early enough for the early morning bank of flights.
 
ScottB
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:44 pm

Quoting United_fan (Reply 17):
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 16):
Competition is what destroyed US airline security pre 9/11.

Every item that was brought on by the highjackers was allowed at the time.

         And last year it was revealed that TSA airport screeners failed to detect mock explosives or prohibited weapons in 95% of tests performed by DHS investigators.
 
ckfred
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:45 pm

My feeling is that private security firms can do the job of government agencies, assuming that training is supervised by the agency and specific standards are set and tested regularly.

When I used to practice law in the Chicago area, county courthouse security checkpoints were usually staffed by sheriff's deputies.

On the other hand, the U.S. Marshal's Service is responsible for security at federal courthouses. The security at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago was handled by a private security firm, with oversight by the U.S. Marshal's Chicago Office.

I always felt that the private firm did a better job of looking out for people who needed additional screening. Considering the number of trials involving alleged Mafia members or drug kingpins, they needed to be looking out for problems.

Besides manning the checkpoints, the firm would station extra people in a courtroom, if a high-profile trial was scheduled. So, the Marshal's were free to handle the movement of detainees between the lock-up and the federal detention facility, at the south end of the Loop.

Also, the security people are armed. In fact, in the early 1990s, one security person got into a shoot-out with a criminal defendant who had gotten away from the deputy marshal, with the marshal's gun. Both wound up dead.
 
airbazar
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:51 pm

I'm not sure private would be any better. Remember the TSA was created because airport security was done by private firms and were terrible at it.
 
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DolphinAir747
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:56 pm

Quoting rta (Reply 8):
I didn't realize U.S. airports could elect to not use TSA. I see some listed like SFO and MCI. Any others out there? Are there any benefits to using TSA?

Are they legally obliged to follow Precheck and use Premier lines?
 
globalflyer
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:09 pm

The issue is that the lanes are never fully functional. Most times only 50% are open and even at that you have 5 people just standing around. It is highly inefficient. I fly every week out of ATL so I can complain.
 
picarus
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:38 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 21):
I'm not sure private would be any better. Remember the TSA was created because airport security was done by private firms and were terrible at it.

Again, nothing carried aboard by the 9/11 terrorists was prohibited--so I fail to see how you can conclude that's the reason the TSA was created.

IMHO, TSA was a knee-jerk reaction by politicians in Congress to create the illusion of commercial aviation security. It was a farce then, and it's a farce now. It's done nothing but add billions of dollars of expense to the federal budget.
 
ozark1
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:39 pm

Quoting rta (Reply 8):
I didn't realize U.S. airports could elect to not use TSA.

Me neither. I had no idea this was an option. I know everyone has their horror stories at all the airports, plus good experiences. I really have been treated very courteously at DFW and most seem friendly, but i've had patient ones at all large airports. The worst experience, ever, was at little GSP, where it was complete mayhem. My big bottle of lotion got to stay, not my corkscrew, my sharp pair of manicure scissors stayed, not my toothpaste. (All items I had absent mindedly left in my carry on).
I think in the larger airports, the flow needs to be managed more efficiently. For example, additional lanes in a grocery store are opened as more people need to be checked out. The two cannot possibly be compared (just the idea of how it works that i am getting at) and I do, of course, understand the need for breaks, meals, etc by the workers. I also suppose it is a problem with space allocation, but the "additional lanes as needed" aspect would do with some tweaking if possible.
 
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WesternDC6B
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:53 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 19):
And last year it was revealed that TSA airport screeners failed to detect mock explosives or prohibited weapons in 95% of tests performed by DHS investigators.

TSA is a jobs program. The record of bumbling justifies, at the very least, a complete re-thinking of security procedures, and what, exactly, constitutes security in the first place.
 
catiii
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:09 am

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 2):

Interesting, of all the major airports I go through I always found ATL to be the easiest when it comes to the TSA. Guess I just got lucky.


You did. They are woefully understaffed, and good luck on a Monday morning...
 
lat41
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:40 am

Quoting NoTime (Reply 1):
Good. Kick them out and get some competent, accountable folks in there.

Ah! the latest TSA bashing thread. Whom do you propose to hire in their place and what do you propose to pay these "competent folks"
 
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jetblastdubai
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:38 am

Quoting lat41 (Reply 28):
Whom do you propose to hire in their place and what do you propose to pay these "competent folks"

I would suggest armed, retired/disabled military and a busload of explosive-sniffing K-9s. You'd get experienced people with a sense of pride in what they do and how they do it. You'd get people that have years of training in security and profiling...and yes profiling works under it's old fashioned name: common sense.

K-9s are infinitely more effective in detecting explosive residue than a machine and they work for doggie treats, a pat on the back and a ride home with their head out the window.
 
rbavfan
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:38 am

Quoting airbazar (Reply 21):

TSA and the rules were the result of 9/11. not the result of the security before 9/11. People wanted something to make them feel safe and the government responded.

They should go over the whole program with TSA & private firms working on fixes & better ways to do things, but they don't. Once a government agency is formed they add constant red tape that prevents quick decisions on issues. Thats the problem with government agencies in general. IBM stayed stagnant for years vs the competition for the same reason. Every decision has to go to the next committee, then to another committe. By the time it comes back with fixes we will be flying spaceplanes or using star trek transporters and the fix will be irrelevant.
 
T5towbar
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:14 am

I know that most people criticize the TSA, which they are ripe for bashing.

But there may be some good security firms that can handle the stress and volume that the TSA deals with on a daily basis. I'm kinda mixed on all of this. You would think that ATL would be properly staffed, since it is one of the world's largest. And previously when the country was under budget sequestration, there was manpower shortages in TSA & CBP. That could be one of the causes as well.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 13):
Obviously there is a cost component to this, with for profit screening companies often being more expensive, though the hope is that they operate more efficiently with staffing to make up

And here's the main problem with this. There can be a race to the bottom if airport authorities have to deal with cost pressures, and the like. You can get professionals if you pay for them. And the cost of that has to be made up.
 
ikramerica
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:33 am

The question I have is: if an airport wants to pay the TSA more, can they get more staff? I'm always hearing about understaffed TSA (and border enforcement), but is that a beaurocraftic issue that can't be addressed on a site by site basis by the airport authority?

If the answer is yes, the airport could get more staff if they paid, then why don't they? If the answer is, like so many other government programs, no, you get what we give you, then the airports should be able to get more staff if they go private. After all, the checkpoints I've seen are NEVER at capacity. It's the staff that is slow or missing, with conveyors or whole lines closed down.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:00 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 16):
Competition is what destroyed US airline security pre 9/11.

Ignoring for a moment that slack airport security was not what caused 9/11 (as said, everything taken through the checkpoint was permitted by the FAA), you would need to be able to mount a credible argument about what the US is different to most other parts of the world where security is handled by private contractors. What is it that make the US experience unique?

Quoting airbazar (Reply 21):
private firms and were terrible at it.

They weren't. And even if they were terrible, the TSA is no better, failing 95% of dummy tests.

Quoting picarus (Reply 24):
TSA was a knee-jerk reaction by politicians in Congress to create the illusion of commercial aviation security.

  
 
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jsnww81
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:31 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 32):
The question I have is: if an airport wants to pay the TSA more, can they get more staff? I'm always hearing about understaffed TSA (and border enforcement), but is that a beaurocraftic issue that can't be addressed on a site by site basis by the airport authority?

I believe so, yes. I seem to remember reading a year or two ago that DFW paid for additional CBP staff when queues at Terminal D got completely out of control.
 
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Coal
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:23 am

Looks like McDonald's is going to be flooded with re-applicants.
 
Brewfangrb
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:09 am

Quoting United_fan (Reply 17):
Every item that was brought on by the highjackers was allowed at the time.
Quoting ScottB (Reply 19):
         And last year it was revealed that TSA airport screeners failed to detect mock explosives or prohibited weapons in 95% of tests performed by DHS investigators.

Exactly. I'll admit to being guilty early on as part of this knee-jerk reaction. I thought "Hey, airlines in charge? That's nuts--they'll do it the cheapest way possible and they won't care". In hindsight, I was stupid. Realistically, 9/11 wasn't caused by ANYTHING the landside rules allowed. 1 rule and 1 mindset change post-9/11 is all that is needed to really prevent another similar attack: Secured, impenetrable cockpit doors and abandoning the nonsense idea of appeasement. No one gets in the cockpit and people on board fight back. Done. Tons, maybe all die on board, but it won't be crashed into anything again. (Generally).

The TSA security that's done is utterly pointless. And this is borne out by the number of actual, REAL weapons, including loaded firearms, that get past them. Too busy counting 3 ounce bottles of shampoo and making me take my belt off to see the idiot who "forgot" his loaded 9mm in his carryon.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 21):
I'm not sure private would be any better. Remember the TSA was created because airport security was done by private firms and were terrible at it.

Nope. Not at all.
 
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LTU932
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:46 am

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 25):
Me neither. I had no idea this was an option. I know everyone has their horror stories at all the airports, plus good experiences. I really have been treated very courteously at DFW and most seem friendly, but i've had patient ones at all large airports

I've never had any problems with TSA, neither at DFW Terminal D, nor in EWR Terminal C. When I was in EWR in December, they seemed a bit annoyed and stressed, but I was cool with that, it was a very long line at the C1 checkpoint just days before Christmas Eve, nuff said. On the return in January, also at C1, things were more relaxed, the lines shorter, but the agent checking my passport and boarding pass asked me about whether I was a UFC fan (because I was wearing a UFC shirt). But it was all good smalltalk just before the screening.

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 34):
I believe so, yes. I seem to remember reading a year or two ago that DFW paid for additional CBP staff when queues at Terminal D got completely out of control.

Fortunately, things are more relaxed at the Terminal D FIS thanks to the APCs they installed, including the green ones for those with just carry-ons/personal items and ITI passengers. With a 3 hour connection both ways, one of my concerns were the lines at DFW, but with the APCs and not having to pick up my luggage on an ITI connection with AA, clearing CBP was a breeze.
 
freakyrat
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:44 am

Funny, I've never had a problem at ATL and normally use the TSA-Pre lines. Reference a previous comment, I've never seen any rudeness out of the folks at LHR. They always seem to try to move people along quickly especially those with close connections.
 
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scbriml
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:51 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 19):
And last year it was revealed that TSA airport screeners failed to detect mock explosives or prohibited weapons in 95% of tests performed by DHS investigators.

Yeah, but they have 100% success rate at finding water and mouthwash.     
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:23 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 32):

The short answer to that is no. I've been intimateky involved in TSA negotiations from an airline persoective working directly with the airport, local TSA and its FSD. Funding levels is ultimately decided by Washington, D.C. which ultimately decides the staffing levels. Trust me, said airport tried this route. The red tape is unbelievable. The problem comes down to keeping the people in an active status. You hsve issues such as short term and long term OJIs, lack of propercoordination and oversight with vacation coverage, alarming FMLA usage and abuse, sick calls, transfers, etc. We were complaining on a weekly basis to our government affairs rep who in turn had a direct line to our EVP of that department. Those people have a lot of influence...nothing.
 
Grummancat
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:38 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 10):
Even if an airport hires private security, that private security firm is required to be in compliance with all TSA rules.

Doesn't sound like the point of this. The Harts seems to want MORE people moving MORE people through. TSA isn't moving the lines so they want the power to add screeners to meet demand.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:49 pm

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 33):
you would need to be able to mount a credible argument about what the US is different to most other parts of the world where security is handled by private contractors. What is it that make the US experience unique?

The U.S is not unique. In much of the world the responsibility for aviation security rest with government - quite often on national level.

Having for profit companies being paid by airlines or local airports will only repeat the mistakes of the past where price and money becomes the first and foremost consideration.

Maybe people dont realize how bad things were prior, but 9/11 blew the lid off the big secret that aviation security screening concept was very much 'cheap is best' model as airlines and local airports funded and basically policed the system themselves with a patchwork of differences across hundreds of US airports with many dozen vendors.
It was so much much a farce that your security screen manning the magnetometer 5 minute prior was push grandma in a wheelchair down to baggage claim.

Private industry is great at many things, but like other aspects of aviation safety oversight there needs to be an independent and not beholden to bottom dollar pricing. Sure TSA is not perfect and there will always be room for improvement, but what is has achieved is a create a single nation system for aviation security, while removing funding temptations away from airlines and local airports.
 
T5towbar
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RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:46 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 32):
The question I have is: if an airport wants to pay the TSA more, can they get more staff? I'm always hearing about understaffed TSA (and border enforcement), but is that a beaurocraftic issue that can't be addressed on a site by site basis by the airport authority?
Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 40):
The short answer to that is no. I've been intimateky involved in TSA negotiations from an airline persoective working directly with the airport, local TSA and its FSD. Funding levels is ultimately decided by Washington, D.C. which ultimately decides the staffing levels. Trust me, said airport tried this route. The red tape is unbelievable. The problem comes down to keeping the people in an active status. You hsve issues such as short term and long term OJIs, lack of propercoordination and oversight with vacation coverage, alarming FMLA usage and abuse, sick calls, transfers, etc. We were complaining on a weekly basis to our government affairs rep who in turn had a direct line to our EVP of that department. Those people have a lot of influence...nothing.

Everybody in this discussion keeps forgetting about effects of the budget sequester. Congress and the President agreed on a budget that had cuts in almost every level of spending because both sides could not agree on a budget. So the sequester took the worst of everything and the President agreed it because he thought that Congress would not approve it because it was so bad. So I believe there were staffing issues, especially at CBP, because it took an inordinate amount of time for proper badging and CBP issuances.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):
Maybe people dont realize how bad things were prior, but 9/11 blew the lid off the big secret that aviation security screening concept was very much 'cheap is best' model as airlines and local airports funded and basically policed the system themselves with a patchwork of differences across hundreds of US airports with many dozen vendors.
It was so much much a farce that your security screen manning the magnetometer 5 minute prior was push grandma in a wheelchair down to baggage claim.

Wackenhut and Argenbright were two of the worst offenders in this regard. Again, if you want real professionals, you have to pay for them. I feel the TSA is a compromise of that.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):
Private industry is great at many things, but like other aspects of aviation safety oversight there needs to be an independent and not beholden to bottom dollar pricing. Sure TSA is not perfect and there will always be room for improvement, but what is has achieved is a create a single nation system for aviation security, while removing funding temptations away from airlines and local airports.

I agree.
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 22270
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:57 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 42):


Private industry is great at many things, but like other aspects of aviation safety oversight there needs to be an independent and not beholden to bottom dollar pricing. Sure TSA is not perfect and there will always be room for improvement, but what is has achieved is a create a single nation system for aviation security, while removing funding temptations away from airlines and local airports.

But there is no accountability in the TSA. If the TSA decides one day to only open one security lane at the busiest time at an airport like ORD or ATL and people have to wait three hours and everyone misses their flights, what is the recourse? Wait until the next election and make it into a political issue? That's simply not an acceptable solution.
 
Clipper136
Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:07 am

RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:25 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 40):
The short answer to that is no. I've been intimateky involved in TSA negotiations from an airline persoective working directly with the airport, local TSA and its FSD. Funding levels is ultimately decided by Washington, D.C. which ultimately decides the staffing levels. Trust me, said airport tried this route. The red tape is unbelievable. The problem comes down to keeping the people in an active status.

  

My airport has tried this several times, but TSA has been unable to maintain staffing levels, no matter who is paying.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 44):
But there is no accountability in the TSA. If the TSA decides one day to only open one security lane at the busiest time at an airport like ORD or ATL and people have to wait three hours and everyone misses their flights, what is the recourse?

This is why Airports are pushing for private firms, under contract to the airport. At least there will be some accountability, and effort to maintain service levels. The flying public assumes that it is the airport that control the security at the checkpoints, when they actually have very little control over what happens in the TSA checkpoints. The airport can "assist" and cajole TSA, but have no real authority.
 
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DocLightning
Posts: 22270
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:29 pm

Quoting Clipper136 (Reply 45):

This is why Airports are pushing for private firms, under contract to the airport. At least there will be some accountability, and effort to maintain service levels. The flying public assumes that it is the airport that control the security at the checkpoints, when they actually have very little control over what happens in the TSA checkpoints. The airport can "assist" and cajole TSA, but have no real authority.

Bingo.   We are in violent agreement.

There is this myth that 9/11 happened because private firms were in charge of airport security and it's just not true. The hijackers used tools that were allowed aboard aircraft. Even if every security checkpoint had been manned by radiologists running the X-ray machines and Navy SEALS running the security, 9/11 would still have happened because it wasn't a failure of airport security. It was a failure of intelligence.
 
airbazar
Posts: 10534
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:05 am

Quoting picarus (Reply 24):
Again, nothing carried aboard by the 9/11 terrorists was prohibited--so I fail to see how you can conclude that's the reason the TSA was created.

True, but you could also get through security with a lot of things that were not allowed and even get into parts of the airport where you were not supposed to get to. The reality is that pre-TSA, security at our airports was a joke and that was true long before 9/11. And it was like that because we had for-profit firms employing people off the street without any training, and paying them minimum wage salaries. Airport security was no better then than mall security. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15363
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sun Feb 21, 2016 2:45 am

Quoting airbazar (Reply 47):
True, but you could also get through security with a lot of things that were not allowed and even get into parts of the airport where you were not supposed to get to. The reality is that pre-TSA, security at our airports was a joke and that was true long before 9/11.

   What people are missing, I think, is that things needed to change. 9/11 was in some ways an unfortunate catalyst, but I'd be hard-pressed to argue that airport security is worse than it was 15 years ago. Of course, there is still room for improvement.
 
Brewfangrb
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:13 am

RE: ATL Threatens To Replace TSA With Private Security

Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:27 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 46):
There is this myth that 9/11 happened because private firms were in charge of airport security and it's just not true. The hijackers used tools that were allowed aboard aircraft. Even if every security checkpoint had been manned by radiologists running the X-ray machines and Navy SEALS running the security, 9/11 would still have happened because it wasn't a failure of airport security. It was a failure of intelligence.

        

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