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Hearing Questions TSA Resistance to Screening Program

Washington, DC
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On Tuesday afternoon, the Transportation Security Subcommittee of House Homeland Security Committee examined the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) decision not to expand the Screening Partnership Program (SPP), which allows airports to have checkpoint screening conducted by private contractors in place of TSA screeners.

The official title of the hearing is "Screening Partnership Program: Why is a Job-Creating, Public-Private Partnership Meeting Resistance at TSA [Transportation Security Administration]?" The SPP was piloted at five airports from 2002 to 2004 and today 16 airports participate in the program.  In January 2011, TSA announced it would not expand the program.

During the Q&A session with Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole, he reiterated that the program is in an assessment stage and he doesn’t know its future status. He added that the agency wasn’t receiving a high volume of applications from airports to participate in the program.

This afternoon's hearing was supposed to have two panels, but due to multiple votes on the floor and the time constraints, panel two of this hearing was canceled.

Updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 5:59pm (ET)

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