Arizona legislators thwarted by TSA

HSNW
Published 17 February 2011

The TSA has thwarted the effort by Arizona legislators to require airports statewide to hire private firms instead of relying on the federally procured screening agents; Phoenix officials support TSA chief John Pistole’s rejection of all incoming security contracting proposals

The TSA hasthwarted the effort by Arizona legislators to require airports statewide to hire private firms instead of relying on the federally procured screening agents.

House Bill 2288, proposed by Representative Jeff Dial (R-Chandler), and sponsored by fourteen other legislators, was recently pulled from the House Transportation Committee calendar.

Phoenix officials support TSA chief John Pistole’s rejection of all incoming security contracting proposals (“TSA halts private security screener program 3 February 2011 HSNW). Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport utilized private screeners before and just after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Phoenix Assistant Aviation Director Carl Newman said city officials have considered privatizing security. Years ago, they visited San Francisco International Airport, where private contractors handle security screening.

Phoenix officials concluded, however, that the city-run Sky Harbor and its clients would not benefit much from private security. The airport would not save money because it would have to ensure that benefits for the private firm’s employees were the same or better than those of TSA workers. The private firm also would have to conduct screenings the same way.

“At the end of the day, if we decided to go with private screeners, it’s not us that selects the private screeners, Newman said. “We can make a request, but they (federal officials) don’t have to follow that request.

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