Congressman pushes for private screeners at OIA

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

A U.S. congressman from Florida wants to privatize the security that keeps you safe at Orlando International Airport.

Transportation Safety Administration screeners could be out of a job if the airport decides to bring in a private company to run the security. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said passengers won't see a difference and it will save taxpayers money.

Mica just sent a letter to the executive director of OIA asking him to consider opting out of using TSA airport screeners and instead use private screeners who will be supervised by the feds.

Mica thinks private companies can do the job just as well as the TSA.

"OIA and all the airports across the country should take this new, more effective, I think more efficient and more customer-friendly in performing well, as we have seen by an independent evaluation model," Mica said.

One traveler said if it saves taxpayers money, then he is for the new model.

"If it could be done more efficiently, then that's fine. Privatization usually leads to lower costs," Stuart Lenberg said.

Right now, 16 airports plan to use private screeners, including the Sanford International Airport.

The TSA said there are 1,200 screeners employed at OIA and 48,000 nationwide.

WFTV asked the TSA: If private screeners replace TSA workers, will TSA employees lose their jobs?

The spokesperson said the agency would try to get the private companies to hire its workers, but there could be jobs lost.

An OIA spokesperson said the board still has to review the letter and discuss the issue before any decisions are made.