In December of 2005, the Sioux Falls Regional Airport in South Dakota became the first airport to exercise this right. TSA continues to maintain oversight for private screeners, providing the equipment and training on screening machines, and provides airports with a Federal Security Director, or FSD, to oversee operations. What this means is that the primary element of change for an airport with a private security contract is simply the attitude of its employees. For-profit corporations tend to have friendlier — or at least less hostile — employees.
This news has caused many flyers to ask a simple question. Is happiness at the airport synonymous with safety? It certainly can be. Though it ranks among the top terrorist targets in the world, one rarely hears about security screening nightmares at Ben Gurion International Airport — which brings flyers to a more important question. Why haven’t more U.S. airports already considered using private contractors?