Private Airport Screening Contract Awarded at N.M. Airports

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow FirstLine Transportation Security of Eastlake, Ohio, to provide screening services at New Mexico's Gallup Municipal Airport and the Roswell Industrial Air Center under the Screening Partnership Program (SPP). FirstLine currently handles security screening at the Kansas City (Mo.) International Airport.

The Gallup and Roswell airports applied to the SPP program last spring. This competitively awarded contract is for security screening services for both the passenger checkpoint and checked baggage operations. The one-year contract, including options, is worth $1.3 million. Under SPP, the federal security director at Albuquerque International remains responsible for overseeing TSA security standards and contractor performance at Gallup and Roswell.

SPP is part of the "opt-out" program established in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) of 2001 in which airports can elect to use private screeners versus security personnel employed by TSA. Private screeners were tested between 2002-2004 at: San Francisco International; Kansas City International; Greater Rochester (N.Y.) International; Jackson Hole (Wyo.); and Tupelo (Miss.) Regional. They remain on the job at those airports in SPP. In addition, Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D., Key West (Fla.) International Airport, and the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County (Calif.) Airport have transitioned to SPP. TSA also signed a three-party contract with US Helicopter Corporation and McNeil Security, Inc., under SPP, that established screening operations to support airport shuttle services at the East 34th Street Heliport in New York City.