Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

USA Today

Airport Security: Let airports take over

Government shouldn't be regulator and provider

Robert Poole
October 17, 2005

Baggage and passenger screening should be shifted to individual airports, with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) retaining regulatory control. Airports would be free to use TSA-certified screening companies or to hire TSA-trained screeners. This devolution — having the federal government delegate these duties — makes sense for at least four reasons.

Congress overreacted in creating a costly, inflexible, centralized system for airport screening. The crucial need is for high standards, rigorously enforced. Those did not exist prior to 9/11- but now that we have them, we should let each airport secure its premises, with TSA holding it accountable.

Robert Poole is director of Transportation Studies at the Reason Foundation.

Robert Poole is Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy

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