Opting Out of the TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has once again changed its policy regarding private airport screeners — this time allowing airports across the country to apply to opt out of using the TSA and hire private security firms instead. We followed this before, when in February, the TSA announced that it would not allow any additional airports to opt out. Springfield-Branson Airport was one of the airports denied the use of private screeners under the old policy.
Springfield-Branson has been invited to reapply for permission to use private screeners and join Kansas City International Airport as one of the current 16 airports that contract private security firms.
The new application process has more requirements than it did before February, but hey, it’s a good start. Having private security firms provides competition for the TSA and that’s good because it boosts efficiency and cuts costs.
My colleague David Stokes put it best in a blog post earlier this year:
“The very existence of competition brings a greater degree of efficiency to the TSA, even if it continues to do the screening in the vast majority of American airports . . . but if the presence of competition in a small number of airports serves to reduce the TSA’s complacency, that benefits all of us.”