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Chris Edwards at the CATO Institute has published an interesting 16-page policy analysis on Privatizing the TransportationSecurity Administration.  I have reproduced the sidebar captions below, but please click on the link to read the paper in its entirety.

  • Nationalizing airport screening was a mistake.
  • The Transportation Security Administration has had workforce management problems since its inception.
  • Security experts have criticized the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration for not allocating their resourcesbased on cost-benefit analyses and detailed risk assessments.
  • The Transportation Security Administration seems to have a bias toward spending money on new technologies that have not been adequately vetted.
  • Another Transportation Security Administration program with high costs, but apparently limited benefits, is the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques program.
  • Perhaps the most effective countermeasure since 9/11 was not the result of any federal program, but the increased awareness of airline passengers and flight attendants of potential attacks in the air.
  • Another civil-liberties concern is that the Transportation Security Administration
    sometimes acts as if it had broad police power outside of its transportation security role.
  • A key goal of reform should be to separate airport screening from the regulatory oversight of aviation security.
  • After a decade of experience, it appears that the over all performance of privatized screening is at least as good as, if not better than, government screening.
  • Many other countries have privatized their airport security screening, and more than 80 percent of Europe’s commercial airports use private screening companies.

The entire paper can be read here:  Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration