TSA or private security screeners at airports?

January 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: OzarksFirst.com

Springfield-Branson National Airport wants to improve the security screening process,especially customer service, by hiring a private contractor to fill the role of the TSA. The airport has already filed a TSA opt-out application, with the review process expected to last a year. If the airport’s application is approved, the security regulations will not change with the advent of a private security screening force. The same federal security check rules will apply, i.e. removing shoes, getting patted down etc. [Full story]

“All commercial airports are regulated by TSA whether the actual screening is performed by TSA officers or private companies. TSA sets the security standards that must be followed, which includes the use of enhanced pat downs and imaging technology, if installed at the airport.”

The Screening Partnership Program (SPP) enables qualified private vendors to perform the screening of passengers and baggage at airports. All commercial airports have been eligible to apply since 2004. There are currently 16 airports participating in SPP out of more than 450 commercial airports. Under SPP, TSA continues to oversee security at partner airports.

See here for the SSP guidelines and applicable law.

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