The Transportation Security Administration approved Glacier Park International Airport’s application to opt-out of TSA security and employ private security personnel on June 28.
The change is allowed through the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the Screening Partnership Program. According to TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers, there are 32 part- and full-time TSA officers working at the airport.
The law requires the airport to make suggestions for private security screeners as part of the application. Dankers said the TSA does not have to award a contract to the private screening company that the airport suggests; the recommended vendor must compete for the contract with other companies.
Transitioning from TSA personnel to private personnel will not begin until a qualified vendor is awarded the contract, Dankers said, and a timeline for that process is not yet available. Once an airport takes part in the SPP, the TSA officer positions are eliminated, she said.
“TSA supports provisions that assist federal screeners, giving them priority for employment with the private contractor and/or facilitating movement to other TSA positions or federal employment,” Dankers wrote in an email to the Beacon. “TSA supports these provisions because the agency believes it is in the best interest of both security and cost-effectiveness.”
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