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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199981 Find in a Library
Title: Improving Airport Passenger Screening
Author(s): Robert W Poole Jr.
Date Published: September 2002
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Reason Foundation
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Sale Source: Reason Foundation
3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd
Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90034
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document discusses the improvement of airport passenger screening and the difficulty in recruiting and training screening personnel.
Abstract: The Aviation and Transportation Security Act calls for the Federal Government to provide passenger and baggage screening at all but 5 of the Nation’s 429 commercial-service airports as of November 19, 2002. The other five will opt out of direct Federal passenger screening by hiring a qualified private security firm for this purpose. After a 2-year period of direct Federal provision, all other airports will then be allowed to opt out by choosing a government-certified security firm instead. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is having difficulty in recruiting and training enough screening personnel to meet the November 19th deadline. A significant expansion of the opt-out pilot program is needed because a sample size of 1 percent of the Nation’s airports is meaningless, and expanding the pilot program would be a major help to the TSA. There are a number of reasons why airport directors want to opt out of TSA-provided screening, such as increasing the quality of airport screening and having a more uniform, less-fragmented security system. Congress has an opportunity to address these problems in easing the TSA’s immediate hiring and training burden by increasing the number of opt-out airports to 40+ to provide for an adequate sample size, and extending the deadline for both federalized and new contracted screening workforces from November 19 to December 31, 2002. Other short-term fine tuning includes having the TSA encourage large and medium hubs to apply; extending the scope to baggage screening; letting airport operators be the contracting party to hire and supervise qualified contractors; and permitting foreign ownership of qualified screening companies. According to European experience, the best results are achieved via a unified approach, under which the airport director has day-to-day control over the provision of all security services. The airport’s security system interfaces with various law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as appropriate. 3 tables, 18 endnotes, appendix
Main Term(s): Airport security; Privatization
Index Term(s): Aircraft security; Cargo security; Facility security; Private sector-government cooperation; Security; Security systems; Surveillance equipment
Note: Downloaded April 16, 2003
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