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House approves bill to let airports kick out the TSA!

From Business Week…

Companies wanting to take over passenger screening at U.S. airports from the Transportation Security Administration will have an easier time getting contracts under legislation up for approval by the Senate today.

The U.S. agency must allow airports to switch to private companies for screeners unless it can show the move wouldn’t be cost-effective and would be detrimental to security, according to the legislation, which if passed will go to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House approved the measure Friday.

“They’ve been trying to force the door open for several years,” Jeff Price, a Denver-based consultant who has written a textbook on aviation security, said of U.S. lawmakers. “It reverses the burden of proof. It is definitely trying to checkmate the TSA.”

TSA Administrator John Pistole last year raised the ire of House transportation committee Chairman John Mica, a Florida Republican, by freezing the number of airports using non- government screeners. Mica, who proposed the House version of the FAA bill, has said the TSA should get out of passenger screening to focus on intelligence gathering and security oversight.

Before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, airlines were responsible for aviation security and hired security companies to operate checkpoints.