Recall the hullaballoo regarding TSA grope-screening practices, and likely out of concern for customer satisfaction, many airports filed applications to opt-out of using TSA employees, preferring to use private contractors to provide airport security screening.
- The Transportation Security Administration has said it won’t allow any more airports to “opt out” and bring in private security contractors in place of the agency’s federal workers.
- TSA Administrator John Pistole said Friday that he had reviewed the private contractor screening program as part of a more general review of TSA policies and decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports because he did not see “any clear or substantial advantage to do so at this time.”
- Since the TSA was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, federal law has allowed airports the option of using private screeners. But few of the nation’s roughly 460 commercial airports have done so.
- Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which is actively organizing TSA officers at some airports, also thinks Pistole did the right thing. “It keeps this important work in the hands of federal employees, where it belongs,” Kelly said in a statement.
- “We still plan to opt out,” said Larry Dale, airport director at Orlando Sanford International in Florida, who planned to file his airport’s application this week. “My guess is they’ll send it back saying they’re not taking applications. But we’re taking advantage of something we’re allowed to do. We’re put too much time and investment into researching this not to go forward.”
The most important thing anyone can remember going forward is this: you have no rights unless you are willing to assert and defend them.