Aviation Security: An Evaluation of the ‘Opt-Out’ Option for Airport Operators

Federal regulations allow airports to opt out of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)'s federal screening workforce and instead utilize private contractors under certain conditions. This opt-out option is called the screening partnership program (SPP). This study evaluated the comparability of the federal versus private workforces and the perception of the opt-out option by the airport operators. Findings from a survey of airport managers/directors show that many airport operators had established good relationships with TSA management and felt that bringing in outside contractors was unwarranted. Others were concerned about legal or financial ramifications of using private contractors. The findings also show that 13% of respondents were unaware of the SPP, and 75% were unaware of the potential benefits of employing a private screening force. The opt-out option does appear to be a viable way potentially to reduce government cost and help to stabilize TSA's budget while maintaining high security standards. However, in order for the program to be successful, the TSA must take a more active role in promoting the program and educating airport officials.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Sweet, Kathleen M
    • Woyat, Charles J
    • Koblinski, Denise M
    • Bramhall, Deborah A
  • Publication Date: 2009-10

Language

  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01147962
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 18 2010 4:53PM