Port Authority calls for private company to handle security if TSA doesn't improve

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Port Authority taells TSA to clean up act or else
Dray Clark reporting live

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A Port Authority has issued an ultimatum; get passengers through security faster or let a private security company step in and do the job.

Security expert Manny Gomez, a former FBI agent, believes it will be more efficient and cost effective to let private screeners step in at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty airports.

"Privatizing it would hold the people that are selected to be the screeners more accountable. It would cost the federal government infinitely less, and it would make the process a lot more streamlined and seamless," Gomez said.

Things got heated after the Port Authority sent a letter saying, "We can no longer tolerate the continuing inadequacy of TSA passenger screening services." They added that, "long waits are prompting complaints from passengers, terminal operators, and airlines alike."

The Transportation Security Agency stood its ground saying, "The TSA's primary focus is the current threat environment as the American transportation system remains a high value target for terrorists."

"With any government organization, there really isn't much incentive to do well and I think by privatizing it, you're bringing in efficiency, a lot better management, and you'll see a lot more common sense," said Steve Conner, a passenger.

"I think it depends on what a private agency would offer and what it would cost. I mean today, it's not so bad that I would consider it," said Rebecca Wooters, a passenger.

The longer lines are thanks to cheaper fuel prices creating lower prices and more travelers.

Travel expert Jonathan Grella from US Travel Association says he believes the TSA needs to expand its prescreening program.

"I think pre-check seems to be the answer here, and it will require less security and resources if we can dedicate the marketing dollars," Grella said.