Mica to Orlando airport: Get private screeners

Mica to Orlando airport: Get private screeners

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Congressman John Mica is telling the Orlando International Airport they should remove the Transportation Security Administration agents, in favor of private screeners.  The TSA would only oversee security and manage the screening contract. We asked him if he believed what people often jokingly call the TSA -- "Thousands Standing Around."

"There are thousands, and sometimes people see them standing around," he said.

Rep. Mica, R-Winter Park, said his problem is not with the screeners themselves, but it is with a bloated federal bureaucracy that has grown from 15,000 to more than 65,000 workers in just 12 years --  a 400 percent increase.

"Right now, we have more administrators in Washington and throughout the country than we had entire screeners 10 years ago," Mica said.

Congressman Mica told an airport panel charged with looking into the best ways to screen passengers that he believes a private company could do the job for less money, with better security, shorter lines and better customer service. He wants the TSA to be more flexible and concentrate on finding threats, an not be the "human resources" manager for screeners.

"I do think that we need to revisit profiling, as long as its not done on the basis of race or some of the ethnic issues," said Mica.  "We do have enough information as to who poses risk."

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board member Dean Asher is heading this task force that will recommend to the full GOAA Board what should be done. He is intent on taking things slow.

"If we need more time to vet this. I'm going to ask the Chairman of GOAA to do that. I think it's important. So I think we are trying to look at everything and make sure that there is no leaf that hasn't been unturned in this process."

For GOAA and Asher, the goals are simple, and they start with security and end with customer satisfaction.

"If there's better security and better customer service for the travelers of Orlando and that come through here, and come to our beautiful city, then that's what we are going to try to do."

Asher is promising his task force will not make a recommendation to the full board based on politics. The U.S. House majority staff report on the problems at TSA was scathing. You can read that entire report here.

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