Airport industry presses TSA for guidance on using private screeners

The Transportation Security Administration should provide airport managers with guidance on using private screeners as soon as possible so they can begin planning before a federal deadline next year, an airport industry representative said Tuesday.

TSA awarded the first phase of a contract last week to BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, Va., to evaluate the performance of private screening companies at airports in Kansas City, Mo.; San Francisco; Rochester, N.Y.; Tupelo, Miss.; and Jackson Hole, Wyo. The airports are part of a pilot program to compare the effectiveness and service of private screeners against federal workers at 436 airports under the jurisdiction of TSA.

When TSA was created almost two years ago, Congress stipulated that airports must use federal workers to screen passengers and baggage for weapons and explosives, except at the five airports in the pilot program. However, legislators included a provision that permits airports to opt out of the federal program and hire private screeners starting in November 2004. The evaluation contract with BearingPoint is part of TSA's requirement to develop a program describing how airports can exercise that flexibility.

"We're hoping the evaluation will be as comprehensive as possible and will be used by the congressional committees and TSA to design an effective opt-out program," said Stephen Van Beek, senior vice president for policy and development at Airports Council International-North America, which represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada.

Van Beek said the airport industry is seeking guidance about the opt-out program by the spring in order to make decisions and workforce changes by November 2004.

A spokeswoman from BearingPoint said the evaluation began Oct. 1 and will end within 45 days. However, she said, TSA had not yet given the company an OK to discuss the contract or evaluation in more detail. Representatives from TSA could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Van Beek said the airport industry hopes BearingPoint will evaluate the overall security provided by private workers versus federal workers, taking into account different work processes and rules that airports in the pilot program have that might affect the performance of private firms when compared with TSA.

Van Beek said the airport industry would be looking for specific comparisons in the areas of flexibility, training, job functions and responsiveness.

For example, he said, the evaluation should look at whether airports with private screeners have more flexibility to meet service needs during peak hours. Airport managers have reported they generally need more workers in the morning and afternoon, but not during other parts of the day.

Another concern the evaluation should examine is whether workers are cross-trained to screen both passengers and baggage, Van Beek said. "Under the current TSA arrangement, some people were hired just as passenger screeners and can't do baggage screening," he said. "What you really need is a mobile workforce that can react to service needs."

Van Beek said he has heard anecdotal reports from airports in the pilot program that they have more flexibility with private screeners. He said the airport industry generally perceives the federal government as being bureaucratic and less responsive to airport needs. However, he added that the best-case scenario for airports would be to have both a TSA program and an opt-out program.

"Ultimately, I think airports on this whole issue are very pragmatic and agnostic," he said.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.