Florida Congressman aims to privatize airport screenings
By Allyson Bird
Monday, January 3, 2011
A Florida Congressman recently sent a letter to the Charleston County Aviation Authority encouraging the agency to consider private security screeners in place of Transportation Security Administration officers.
The letter from Republican
Rep. John Mica doesn’t suggest that the switch would make for any less intrusion in the wake of the Thanksgiving travel groping jokes. But it does point out that TSA remains responsible for screening costs under contract and that the Aviation Authority could take back some control without incurring additional expenses.
Mica acknowledges that he helped author the law that created TSA but that, at 67,000 employees, it has become ‘an unwieldy bureaucracy.’
‘As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law,’ he wrote.
Mica sent the letter to authority chairman Chip Limehouse, also a South Carolina state representative, who expects the issue to percolate in coming months.
For now, Limehouse said he intends to stick to the same model as other airports around the country.
‘What Washington is saying is they’ve set up an expensive program that they might not be able to fund into the future,’ Limehouse said. ‘The key is privatization. I would suspect that we could run it cheaper privately. We’ll be talking about it moving into the future.’
Patriots Point will offer free admission Saturday and Sunday
to kick off the 100th anniversary of naval aviation. Visitors can tour the Mount Pleasant military attraction’s ships, aircraft, Medal of Honor Museum and Vietnam Support Base from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. both days. In 1911, the U.S. Navy purchased its first aircraft. Patriots Point plans to hold events throughout the year to celebrate the centennial of naval aviation.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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