TSA Looks At Plan to Eliminate Security Screening at Smaller Airports

The Transportation Security Administration is mulling over a plan that would allow smaller airports across the U.S. eliminate passenger screening according to some of the agency's internal documents obtained by CNN

The idea to eliminate screening at dozens of smaller airports across the U.S. was first considered by the TSA two years ago and was viewed at the time as an attempt to get Congress to spend more money on the agency. 

According to the proposal, the move to eliminate screening at 150 unspecified airports could save the agency up to $115 million every year - money, the proposal argues, that could be better used to bolster security at larger airports that serve a higher volume of passengers. 

Passengers who connect or arrive at a larger airport from a non-screening one, would be put through security before they could continue on their journey. 

TSA spokesman Michael Bilello dismissed concerns over the proposal, saying in a statement that there had been "no decision" to eliminate passenger screening at any federalized U.S. airport. 

“Every year as part of the federal budget process TSA is asked to discuss potential operational efficiencies — this year is no different,” said Bilello. "Any potential operational changes to better allocate limited taxpayer resources are simply part of predecisional discussions and deliberations and would not take place without a risk assessment to ensure the security of the aviation system."

With more than 43,000 officers on staff, the TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers at 440 airports across the U.S. The agency is also responsible for providing security for the more than 23,000 domestic flights and 2,800 international flights that depart every day. 

Photo: Getty Images

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