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Airports' New Year's Resolution: Dump TSA?

Can private security do a better job?
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2010 6:17 AM CST
Airports' New Year's Resolution: Dump TSA?
With the public increasingly unhappy with airport security hassles, more airports are considering switching to private security companies.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Fed up with TSA hassles at the airport? You may be in luck. Aware of growing passenger fury, more and more airports—including Dulles and Reagan National—are considering switching to private companies for security screening, reports the Washington Post. Sixteen airports have chosen to go the contractor route since 2002, and more are pondering the move. "We're smaller, we can react much quicker to things and I think a lot of airports want to be more customer service-oriented," said the president of a private security company. "There's a reason not one of the 16 airports that have opted out have gone back to TSA."

Florida Republican John Mica, incoming head of the House Transportation Committee, has written to 200 of the nation's largest airports, urging them to switch to private companies: "TSA should focus on its mission: setting up the protocol, adapting to the changing threats, and gathering intelligence," he said. But even if the TSA screeners are replaced, don't expect big changes: Private contractors use the same procedures and equipment. The Post notes that the differences are "often imperceptible": In the case of one company, different badges and higher pay for new hires.
(More TSA stories.)

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