Tags: tsa | airport | wait time | morphotrust

Ending Airport Security Waits Tied Up by Lawsuit

Image: Ending Airport Security Waits Tied Up by Lawsuit
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By    |   Friday, 01 Jul 2016 11:42 AM

The Transportation Security Administration has yet to find a solution to the hours-long wait times travelers often face at airport checkpoints, and a new lawsuit could delay relief.

MorphoTrustUSA, the French-owned company contracted to work with the TSA's PreCheck system, is suing the government in federal claims court, according to The Daily Beast. For years the TSA has struggled to implement a program for low-risk travelers to skip the arduous security process that recently has caused massive lines and missed flights across the country.

MorphoTrust was brought in to increase membership in the PreCheck program, which lets travelers avoid airport screening, but at its current pace, it won't come close to reaching the agency's goal to enroll 25 million passengers in the program by 2019. Currently, PreCheck only has 3 million enrolled.

The TSA determined that one company couldn't handle the burden on its own, so in 2013 it sought to hire more private vendors. MorphoTrust, in response, filed a "bid protest" stopping the TSA from issuing new contracts. The TSA and the Government Accountability Office rejected the protest, so MorphoTrust sued the agency, preventing the TSA from issuing those contracts.

"It is frankly bizarre," Robert Poole, the Reason Foundation's director of transportation policy, told the DailyBeast. "It would be tragic for air travelers if this gets held up for another year or two."

MorphoTrust claims the TSA's practices are "unlawful and irrational," and that the agency is attempting to avoid congressional oversight.

"Our protest doesn't have anything to do with an objection to expansion; it is about a technical issue with the way the procurement was handled," said a spokesman for the company, whose corporate parent is Paris-based Safran Group.

The TSA came under harsh scrutiny last winter, to the point that the general manager of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport wrote a letter to the agency demanding improvements and threatening to replace the agency with private security services, according to WSB-TV

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport director Lance Lyttle echoed the sentiment, telling CBS News, "We're looking at all the options, including, we're going to investigate what it would take to privatize. We're looking at other airports that have privatized."

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The Transportation Security Administration has yet to find a solution to the hours-long waits travelers often face at airport checkpoints, and a new lawsuit could delay relief.
tsa, airport, wait time, morphotrust
381
2016-42-01
Friday, 01 Jul 2016 11:42 AM
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