ORLANDO, Fla. – The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority board will decide Wednesday if Orlando International Airport travelers should continue to be screened by Transportation Security Administration agents.
Some at GOAA have been disappointed by wait times and customer service at TSA checkpoints and want to replace the agents with a private security company.
TSA workers protested Tuesday against the use of private security screeners, saying it threatens the safety of passengers.
GOAA found security wait times for the west checkpoint exceeds 15 minutes, and at peak times, it can take an hour.
GOAA officials said the east checkpoint exceeds 10 minutes, and at peak times can be about 50 minutes.
An independent survey showed that in November 2016, customer service satisfaction was at 84 percent, but by July of 2017, it was down to 70 percent.
A possible change does not come without worry for workers who could lose their jobs.
“We are deeply concerned with what is happening at the airport,” said Denise Diaz with Jobs with Justice.
Orange County Mayor Treasa Jacobs is part of the GOAA board.
She said she has no significant concerns with TSA, but people showed up at the county commission meeting, asking her to vote against privatization.
“Privatizing TSA at the Orlando Airport will jeopardize not just Orlando, but the entire travel safety of this entire country,” said J. David Cox of the American Federation of Government Employees.
GOAA argues the San Francisco airport has seen success since it privatized security in 2004.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sent a letter to GOAA on Tuesday expressing his concerns with privatizing security.
The letter said, in part, “There is no established playbook for carrying out such a complex transition. The potential for disruption and severe downside is substantial.”
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