ORLANDO, Fla. - Transportation Security Administration officers picketed outside the Orlando International Airport Wednesday to try to sway Orlando Aviation Authority board members away from privatizing OIA's security operation.
The option to privatize airport security had been under consideration last month, but TSA union officials claim the change would have a negative effect on security.
Union officials said a for-profit company would place financial motivations above safety concerns.
TSA employees held signs reading, "Air safety is not for sale," and, "Privatization just won't fly.”
OIA officials said they believe unfriendly TSA employees are upsetting passengers and screening them too slowly.
OIA officials discussed privatizing security two years ago, but decided against it.
Instead, they set goals for screening times and passenger satisfaction, which airport officials claim TSA is failing to meet.
However, TSA fired back with claims that OIA is looking for an excuse to get rid of the agency, just a few months after OIA received top honors for passenger satisfaction from JD Power and Associates.
The vote to allow filing for an application to privatize security is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The TSA must approve privatizing security at OIA, and it would still watch over whatever company that comes in.
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