My mother worked for an airline, so growing up I flew round trip at least once a month, and more like once a week. I felt safe every time I flew. Passing through security was always an inconvenience, but it was a necessary safety precaution. Although, with all the hijackings and airplane crashes in the 80s and 90s, we knew that there was a risk when flying. The US started screening all passengers and baggage by January 1973.
Since 1973 I think the private security companies that airlines hired have done a decent job. Then 9-11 happened! The government saw it’s its chance to improve on a system that was not broken. Nothing is perfect, but the FAA was using Capitalism to keep safety and customer satisfaction at its best.
In 2002 we got the TSA. Because the government can do a better job that anyone else. In just 10 years, the TSA has been riddled with scandals of theft, misspending, employee records being lost or stolen, unsecured websites and failing most security “tests”. Many people have been upset over the tactics used: Back scatter devices that use radiation and don’t work very well, and patting down old people, young children, and mentally disabled in a manner that is considered by some as criminal. Airports were supposed to be able to opt out of TSA if they hired a private security agency that met certain requirements. However, so many airports started opting out in 2010, that the Department of Homeland Security put a stop to that and currently will not allow any airport to opt out.
Now the TSA is taking another major step to keeping us safe. The TSA has confirmed that there is such a backlog of background checks for airline and airport employees that they are now allowing them to hire any employee as needed; the background checks are being bypassed. No time line is being stated to complete the needed background check.
Security expert Brent Brown of Chesley-Brown Security believes the move could be a potential threat to airports.
“You can’t put unsecured people or people that you haven’t checked in a secured environment,” said Brown. “By that very definition, you’ve breached security.”
The TSA says that there is no need to worry, they are still doing an ID verification of all employees. Because getting a fake ID, or stealing someone’s identity is so hard…. Yeah right…. Identity theft is one of the largest crimes in the US right now.
Whenever possible, I drive!