Burgeoning wait lines at TSA checkpoints have some airports advising flyers to arrive three hours before their departure.
Heritage Foundation researcher Riley Walters says it doesn’t have to be this way.
“Many factors have contributed to the long lines, but the solutions are quite simple,” Walters says. “For starters, the TSA can expand privatization of security at airports. Airports that use private security contractors have seen shorter lines, happier customers, and lower costs - all while providing at least as much security as TSA screeners.”
However, he noted, getting TSA to hand over inspections to contractors has not been easy. “The TSA has repeatedly blocked airports from pursuing private security alternatives,” he said.
Walters also urged expansion of “trusted traveler” programs like PreCheck. “Not every person needs a rigorous screening,” Walters said. “Screener should spend less time on low-risk travelers and focus attention more on travelers associated with defined risk factors.”
Walters said both proposals could help airports “break the TSA’s cycle of inefficiency.”