Should Airline Security Be Privatized?
November 21, 2013
Or rather re-privatized—as the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards reminds us, the TSA has only been around for about a decade (it was created in response to September 11th). Read all about it: “Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration” (full policy analysis here in PDF form).
After more than a decade of experience, it is clear that the creation of TSA and the federal takeover of airport screening was a mistake. Auditors have found that TSA’s screening performance has been no better, and possibly worse, than private screening. And TSA has become known for mismanagement, dubious investments, and security failures. Former TSA chief Kip Hawley noted last year that the agency is “hopelessly bureaucratic.” And recent congressional reports have blasted TSA for “costly, counter intuitive, and poorly executed” plans and for having an “enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy.”
. . . Most airports in Europe and Canada use private companies for their passenger and baggage screening. That practice creates a more efficient and innovative security structure, and it allows governments to focus on gathering intelligence and conducting analysis rather than on trying to manage a large workforce.