TSA blocks private airport screeners at small Montana airports

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Daily Caller: TSA blocks private airport screeners

    Uniformed TSA agents also lobbied passengers at the gates. :td:

    This is a great four-page article about several small Montana airports that were encouraged to apply for private screening exceptions only to have all the applications rejected, while TSA was leaving them short-staffed locally and actively working against their efforts to solve their own problem.

    SATTSO Original Member

    Not surprising that both this article, and the person interview for it, Airport Director Cindi Martin, got a few things wrong.

    1. Cindi Martin claims that FTE is based on October's numbers. Not true. FTE is based on annual enplanement (how many depart an airport) - and by what Congress allocates for each specific airport. However, going with just enplanement, tt is an annual average, not based on 1 month. Because airports like this ARE seasonal, some times of the year they are OVER STAFFED (such as winter) other times of the year they are under staffed.

    Did the article state if the airport was over staffed in winter?

    2. Cindi Martin failed to mention that during the peak times of the year TSA would send out many NDF Officers to help at her airport to keep it fully staffed. And this is why TSA decided to pull out, a decision TSA made before Pistole arrived. The NDF Officers receive a per diem, they have their hotel paid for, and if needed, a rental car is provided, to buy groceries and such. This is why TSA decided to pull out and have local private contractors provide security under TSA regulations, which, of course, did and will not happen while Pistole is in charge.

    How do I know this? Oddly enough, SAT has some employees in the NDF who worked this airpot - sent their for approximately 3 months during the summer. And SAT was just one airport that did so. It happens all over the country at seasonal airports.

    So no, they were not understaffed during the summer, as this article suggest. By leaving out important information regarding NDF, this article does little more than attempt to distort the truth. And we have to wonder if Cindi Martin got it wrong on purpose...
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    It seems clear that contract screeners are better suited to this type of airport. The flexibility to lay off or furlow people would be simpler than with government employees.

    I think some of the slant is point at Pistoles not approving pending contract screener applications that had started the process many months ago.

    SATTSO Original Member

    I agree that with private screening employees could be laid off more easily, or furlow emplyees too. But for these airports this is a terrible idea, and here is why. Using machines such as x-ray is a skill that improves over time, over years, even. A newer employee will just not be as good as someone with 2 years experience, and neither will that person be with someone with 5 years experience, generally.

    Add to that, time away from x-ray and skill lowers, so furrowing employers for slow times will end up hurting screening in the busy months.

    What actually worked well was bringing in employees during the busy months, seasoned, experienced employees, who are up-to-date on all the skills needed. Now that being said, nothing is perfect, we both know that ;)

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