Airport safe despite screener shortage



"As far as we're concerned, we meet that rquirement and we're very safe," said federal security director John Gartland.

Jose Bakker often travels internationally. Though she doesn't have a fear of flying, she does fear the accuracy of the report.

"(I fear) they might miss something that might explode the plane or something like that," she said.

Others are more confident in the airport security and less confident in the report.

"I think they're too critical,” said traveler Lynn Underwood. "I think we've got a lot of people and they are doing the best they can."

While Gartland stands behind his security personnel, he does admit that there is a national shortage of baggage screeners. He says additional help would be welcomed.

"Improvements can always be made,” he said. “TSA, working woth Congress and working with our corporate partners, we are always looking for new, better, faster, more efficient ways to screen bags and we're going to continue to do that."

The report says adding more screeners and correcting the current problems would cost about $4.8 billion. It suggests spreading the cost by selling federal tax credits. It also suggested moving up the installation date of new machines from 2024 to 2013, but the TSA says it would prefer to wait until 2024, when the new equipment would not require special financing.

According to the TSA, an average of 20,000 bags a day are screened at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.


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