Southeast airports debate TSA vs. contractors

8:45 a.m. Thursday, November 18, 2010

Airports in Florida and Georgia are debating whether to replace Transportation Security Administration employees who run security checkpoints with private contractors.

Republican Rep. John Mica of Florida sent a letter to the nation's 100 busiest airports this month urging them to consider using contractors. He's a longtime critic of the TSA.

Sanford Airport Authority CEO Larry Dale said his board has authorized him to opt out of using TSA employees at the Orlando Sanford International Airport. Dale said he expects to send the government final notice in January.

Macon City Councilor Erick Erickson said he wants to stop using TSA screeners at the small Middle Georgia Regional Airport. Erickson said a private contractor has more ability to fire security workers who are rude to passengers.

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