Airline Security

TSA Employees Exceed Airport Staff in Charlotte

By on 12.3.10 | 2:55PM

Following the Transportation Security Administration body scan and pat-down policy furor, we've heard some airport administrators say they would like to replace the agency's personnel with outside contractors to handle security (although they'd still have to follow TSA procedures). Count Charlotte (N.C.)/Douglas International Airport Aviation Director Jerry Orr as one of those who would like to fire TSA. Why? Carolina Journal reports:

If it were up to Orr, far fewer travelers would be subjected to x-ray machines and pat-downs.

"We spend an awful lot of time putting an awful lot of people through things that are obviously unnecessary," he said. "The process from the very beginning has been to look for things - and typically the things they look for are yesterday's threat ... we need to be looking at people with intent."

Orr said security guards should be allowed to evaluate passengers "based on a number of criteria" and determine which of them should be selected for extra screening.

The TSA Can’t Help Being Annoying

By on 11.15.10 | 2:38PM

With the holiday travel season approaching fast, public anger at the federal Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) increasingly invasive airport passenger screening procedures - full body scans and pat downs - seems to be growing louder by the day. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano argues that these measures are necessary to maintain an adequate level of security for the nation's air travel.

Indeed, some types of safety measures, including passenger screening, are needed for air travel safety. The problem with the current security regime is its structure. In a way the TSA can't help annoying travelers with petty, intrusive rules. It is in its nature, as a top-down, government regulatory bureaucracy. By design, it's good at promulgating and enforcing rules, not so much at turning on a dime to react quickly to potential threats, which have an annoying habit of turning up unexpectedly and be ever shifting.