Private screeners to replace TSA at Orlando airport?

Orlando International Airport is taking the first baby steps in a move that could replace Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents with private screeners.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) is discussing new customer service standards for all entities that operate at the airport. Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher said, as it stands now at OIA, the TSA only has to answer to the federal government and not to the airport.

"Once we establish those, we'll evaluate," said Kruppenbacher. "Can the TSA meet those standards or not? Should we put it out for a bid?"

Kruppenbacher said millions of bags have been screened at the airport since the TSA took over. In that time, only 11 people have been prosecuted for theft.

"Eleven is still unacceptable. I was very pleased to see how aggressive the new TSA Executive Director is in addressing this issue," Kruppenbacher said.

The TSA has been a giant, political football, so Kruppenbacher decided to wait until after the election to form a committee that will set the customer service standards, then report to the board about whether or not the agency can meet them.

"I could care less about the politics of this. All I care about is seeing those customers smiling, saying I love the airport, and I love Orlando, and we are going to do that."

The GOAA Board will get a full report in March and decide how to move forward from there. If they did decide to outsource screening to a different entity besides the TSA, they would need permission from the Department of Homeland Security, and the TSA would still oversee the operation.

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