Private screeners at SRQ: You get what you pay for.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport will soon decide to terminate all the experienced TSA screeners and replace them with cheap labor.
Sound familiar? Yes, it was the way business was done before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
If SRQ President Frederick "Rick" Piccolo has his way, he will take SRQ back 12 years to Sept. 11, 2001.
Cheap labor, inexperienced screeners, return to herd-the-cattle-through mentality, do more with less, and who cares if they can speak English, as long as we can hire them cheap!
This was the way it was before 9/11 at every airport in America. This is why 9/11 happened, and Piccolo wants to bring it back. Right here in Bradenton.
Is that progress? Oh, by the way, need I mention that 9/11 terrorists lived right up the street in Venice, and frequented SRQ?
Why change, you may ask? Well, Piccolo said for "philosophical issues." What is that? Are passenger complaints up? No. Are there problems with the TSA screeners? He says no.
Have there been issues with terrorist? No.
Did the airport authority poll the flying public? I think not, because if they did, they would find that the vast majority of the flying public want TSA screeners.
So what could it be?
The flying public won't see a decrease in the fee charged for airport security. SRQ will, however, see less experienced screeners hired by the screen-for-profit companies.
Sarasota-Bradenton are world class cities with millions of dollars in investments, yet Rick Piccolo has decided to put SRQ back 12 years to pre 9/11 status. This decision is counterproductive, and will only hurt SRQ's reputation of providing world-class airline security.
Call Piccolo and the SRQ Airport Authority and tell him to leave those TSA screeners alone.
Alan Jackimowicz, Executive Vice President, TSA/AFGE Council 100Washington, D.C.