TSA must continue staffing exit lanes at airports in the name of safety

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP December 10, 2013 13:06

TSA must continue staffing exit lanes at airports in the name of safety

The Transportation Safety Administration must continue to staff airport security exit lanes and abandon its plan to unload costs and responsibility onto already financially-strained local airports, the Global Gateway Alliance said today. In a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole, the alliance stated criticises TSA plans to eliminate federal agents at airport security lane exits and force airport operators to pick up the added security costs in early 2014. The TSA calls this a cost-saving measure that allows the Administration to focus on outgoing plane traffic.

Over the last decade, Homeland Security data shows that there have been 3,000 security breaches nationwide involving unscreened individuals gaining unauthorized access via exit lanes and security checkpoints. Locally, in 2010 and 2012, unauthorized access through exit lanes at Newark Liberty Airport shut down the terminal for hours, causing delays and costing money during busy travel times.

GGA said the step will push an additional $8 million annually onto regional airports and create additional security concerns for the region at a moment when New York / New Jersey airports will be inundated with tens of thousands of additional travelers for the Super Bowl.

While the TSA describes the idea as cost effective, their plan saves approximately one percent of the TSA’s $7.5 billion budget nationwide, while impacting the security of hundreds of millions of aviation passengers every year. In addition, the plan to abandon staffing of exit lanes comes at a time when TSA is working to increase security fees on every airline ticket – effectively adding costs for passengers while reducing security.

The TSA plan already faces opposition from the Port Authority, the major airlines, national airline advocacy groups, as well as other cities including Boston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Portland.

“Our message to the TSA is clear – stop this plan. Their move is the embodiment of pennywise and pound foolish – impacting the maximum number of passengers while placing additional burdens on our local airports,” said GGA Chairman Joe Sitt. “The Federal government should be paying its fair share to the most critical airport system in the country, not further shirking its responsibility.”

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP December 10, 2013 13:06
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