TSA announces privatization of security screenings at Sanford airport

The Transportation Security Administration announced Monday that security screenings at Sanford-Orlando International Airport will be privatized.

The airport has been approved for a screening partnership program.

Rep. John Mica won a significant battle.

Eleven years after writing legislation that created the Transportation Security Administration, Mica helped the Orlando-Sanford International Airport remove TSA screeners and have a private company take over.

"This will probably create an avalanche of change in the entire way we conduct passenger screening across the county," said Mica.

Mica said TSA has become a bloated Washington bureaucracy that wastes millions of dollars every year paying top administrators, while underpaying screeners.

Airport Director Larry Dale and his board of directors now have the ability to choose from a handful of certified screening companies.

WFTV found that all signs are pointing to Covenant Aviation Security, which is a company in based in Casselberry that already owns a screening contract at the San Francisco International Airport.

"We've done a lot of due diligence of and discovery on this, and we've been talking to people not only in the airports they're operating in, but the private screening people themselves," said Dale.

But more than a decade after major communications failures were blamed for allowing the 9-11 attacks, WFTV asks if passengers will be safe under private screeners.

"What makes you think a private company would be able to communicate effectively enough with the government to stop that kind of an attack?" WFTV reporter Drew Petrimoulx asked.

"Actually, the private company has nothing to do with it. This model is the model almost all of the rest of the world has adopted," Mica said.

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