Orlando airport won't replace TSA screeners with private firm – for now

by

comment
PHOTO VIA ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Orlando International Airport/Facebook
On Wednesday, Orlando’s airport authority voted to tell the Transportation Security Administration that if the agency doesn’t start impressing local airport officials, the airport plans to privatize the screening process.

It’s an exasperated decision on the part of Orlando International Airport’s leaders, in that they’re tired of the lack of communication, cooperation and accountability by TSA leadership. The move would make Orlando International Airport the latest of just a handful of airports to nix TSA screeners and replace them with private security.



The goal at hand, at least in the mind of OIA’s leaders: To cut wait times and improve upon passengers’ experience when traveling, both of which officials claim have been problems for years now.

“I’m taking my gloves off with this: There is a leadership problem at TSA local,” Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher told Florida Politics. “I don’t think any of us really desire deep in our hearts to go down this road but we’ve talked and talked, and so this is like, we’re moving in this direction.”



While Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer voted against the resolution on Wednesday, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, after a number of rewrites of the resolution, voted in favor.

Essentially, TSA has a 60-day window to “meet the triggers,” as Kruppenbacher put it, although it’s not entirely clearly what the board chairman meant by that.

“The step we would take today is to begin the process; the board will not be formally voting to file the application,” Kruppenbacher said.

Around a thousand TSA employees at OIA could lose their jobs and their federal pensions if the airport opts to switch to a private company.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.