The TSA's "continued inadequacy" at timely passenger screening may force the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to hire a private contractor, the agency threatened in a recent letter.
The New York Post reported
Tuesday that The Port Authority has charged that the security wait times at John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and the Newark Liberty International Airport are "abysmal" and are affecting the local economy.
"The patience of the flying public has reached a breaking point," stated a letter from The Port Authority's chief security officer Thomas Belfiore to TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger last week. "Given the adverse customer-service and economic impacts, we can no longer tolerate the continuing inadequacy of TSA passenger screening services."
According to WCBS-TV
, passengers have waited up to an hour to get through checkpoints, creating a number of problems. The Port Authority's letter stated that the wait lines have been "prompting angry complaints from passengers, terminal operators, and airlines alike … citing inconvenience, delayed flights and missed flight connections."
The Port Authority, ABC News noted
, said that it was "exploring the merits" of hiring private screeners "to enhance flexibility in the assignments and operating hours of front line screening staff."
WCBS-TV wrote that 22 airports, including those in San Francisco and Kansas City have already hired private security companies to operate screenings.
The TSA has argued that there is no noticeable difference in wait times between federalized and non-federalized screening points. The agency has also encouraged flyers to sign up for TSA Pre or other trusted traveler programs and to arrive at airports at least two hours before domestic flights.
"TSA's primary focus is the current threat environment, as the American transportation system remains a high value target for terrorists," said a TSA representative.
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