Should airports be able to hire private security to replace the TSA?
Some are questioning the TSA's ability to properly screen travelers; many have had bad TSA experiences. Should there be alternative options to the TSA?
It was the airlines not the airport that hired an outside company to handle the screening of passengers and their carry on luggage. The baggage going into the cargo hold was not checked to my knowledge. I worked for two weeks as a ramp agen/baggage handler on the ramp contracted to Alaskan Airlines at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, AZ back in 1990's, I had to quit due wife's illnesses. To my knowledge if someone was caught with a handgun in their carry on luggage the individual received a 50 dollar bonus from the company.
My personal opinion is the TSA is not developed, trained, or incentivized well enough to do the job properly.
They are not going to be able to stop any true threat. They are not trained or equipped to handle a active terrorist threat that has guns or bombs.
They are there as a 'show of force' deterrent, but to any well trained 'terrorist' they would not be perceived as a threat, in fact, a terrorist would be more concerned with the 'civilians' as you never know who may be a armed federal agent or off duty cop, or similar type of threat.
The TSA is there more to plant the message into the minds of travelers to follow the rules, don't carry weapons, or drugs, or drinks for that matter into an airport AND to make it appear as if there is a force present that can protect the people and the airport from attack.
Private security companies have more flexibility in firing poor performers, any agency the Federal government is responsible for running has the worst hire-fire rules and procedures imaginable in place, often over time the best employees will leave for better opportunity, while those that should be released remain, comfortably protected despite poor productivity.
Airports that have switched to private firms say they consider the contractors more responsive and better able to adjust staffing to address traffic surges and lulls. In addition private companies can tailor their training to include things a Airport may want, that the TSA does not train in, or does not agree to do.
And private companies can reward productivity and performance far better than the government can, I think everyone is aware that a government job is far better for those who lack motivation, and just want to show up and collect their paycheck than private firms.
Interesting question that is more than simple to answer. It seems a lot like the NASA projects where the bids are usually given to the lowest bidder, not the best one.
The whole concept of the TSA and Airport security is as useful as Homeland Security. Have their really been that many attempts at the airports since 911.
Remember in 1993 terrorists tried to blowup the WTC by bombs in the garage. Then they waited patiently until 2001 to try to take down the WTC. This time they were successful, but the point is that the gov had the necessary information to stop the threat, but they didn't share the information.
Were they successful, this would have been proactive, but our recent history of the last 40 years is to be reactive.
There so many ways for terrorists to use the airports without getting on a plane. The current TSA or even private security doesn't protect against it.
So your question doesn't describe the advantage of TSA over private security. Both are still inside the box thinking, and from what we have seen the terrorists do in the past is to exceed the limits of our boxes.
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