Airports Can Opt Out Of TSA ScreeningNovember 17th, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Airports Can Opt Out Of TSA Screening
At the risk of beating an already dead horse into a bloody pulp, did you know that airports are not required by the Patriot Act, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or George Washington’s mother-in-law to allow TSA employees to man those infernal full body scan devices that are causing such a ruckus? It’s true and we have word of that from none other than one of the authors of the original 2001 TSA bill that sent us sliding down the slippery slope of TSA screening and privacy violating.
Republican representative John Mica, who will soon be the head of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recently sent a letter to more than 150 heads of airports around the nation to remind them they can, in fact, opt out of having TSA on the premises after two years. This means that if they don’t like TSA screening methods, they are now free to find a private company to do the job.
It can’t be that simple, right? Right you are. That screeching in the background was the sound of a solid set of brakes being applied to unfettered optimism. While what Mr. Mica says is true, all airports still have to abide by TSA standards, procedures, and policies, even if the workers carrying out the program aren’t TSA naturals.
To date, seventeen airports have chosen to opt out through what is called the â€œScreening Partnership Program.â€
The only major airports choosing this route are San Francisco International Airport and Kansas City International Airport. The rest are a motley collection of mid-sized hubs like Sioux Falls, Jackson Hole, Tupelo, and Key West, to name a few. The bottom line here is that you’re not going to get out of having your groin legally groped by a stranger so easily.
The latest issue revolves around the growing number of airports implementing the â€œfull body scanâ€ device which has a number of people outraged about the indecency of it all. TSA likes to trot out polls showing 75% to 80% of Americans support the â€œincreased security.â€ After all, we can opt out if we want and ask for an enhanced pat down instead. One issue we see is that the poll cited is in the immediate aftermath of the Nigerian who had the bright idea to smuggle explosives aboard a plane in his underwear.
At this point, a vastly low percentage of Americans have actually undergone the full body scan. Will support stay high once the technology is implemented on a widespread basis? We’re going to go out on a limb here and say, â€œNo.â€
The Jetsetter Team
Flickr / Inha Leex Hale