Orlando International Airport officials to discuss replacing TSA agents

Airport to detail proposal to replace TSA with private company

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando International Airport officials will soon discuss getting rid of Transportation Security Administration agents.

It's something only a handful of airports have done but, on Wednesday, the Orlando International Airport will detail a proposal to replace TSA with a private company to secure checkpoints.

Travelers that News 6 spoke with said there are pros and cons.

"I would have to wait and see," Harvey Rubin said. "Most often, when something is privatized with profit motive, they might actually cut back on employees to save money."

Harvey and Lynn Rubin said they travel in and out of OIA regularly and have never had a problem with TSA. They know the lines are long and they make sure to come early.

"You don't know what the private company is going to do," Lynn Rubin said. "If they cut down on the number of employees, even though the service might be better, the lines might still be longer."

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority announced at its last monthly meeting that it is considering an idea to use contract employees in the future, hoping to provide travelers with better customer service and shorter wait times through security checkpoints.

But not everyone agrees with the idea.

"Private companies will tell you that all the time, to get the government jobs, and it usually doesn't work out that way," Donna McCollum said.

Right now, 22 commercial airports in the country, out of 450, have made similar moves, but it's still unclear if the changes are noticeable enough for travelers.

"The government is doing a good job now. Why change it? We use this airport all the time and we haven't had any issues," Jack Plante said. "I like it the way it is."

OIA has had a record year for travel in 2017, with 44.6 million passengers, making it the busiest airport in the state.

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