February 4, 2016—Back in 2014, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it’d be taking suggestions on how to improve airport security lines. Great suggestions would earn $2,500 while the best idea would take $5,000 home. Despite the extra incentives, little was accomplished.
Now, TSA head Peter Neffenger wants to collaborate with airlines and airports to make the agency more efficient. But if his definition of the word efficiency is the same as mine, that will be utterly impossible.
Claiming that “There is no more entrepreneurial place to be than an agency that’s fighting an enemy that’s constantly changing,” Neffenger had no word of comfort to the countless victims of TSA abuse. Instead, all he had to say was that there are “really some promising new technologies out there” the agency is eyeing. No specific details on trial dates or what airports would be partnering with the agency were available.
While he acknowledged that passenger throughput at TSA checkpoints has slowed down significantly in the past months, he failed to address other concerns, such as TSA’s lack of success in catching terrorists. If the TSA is serious about keeping passengers safe, why wont its chief discuss the agency’s utter ineffectiveness?
To Neffener, the “nature of engagement” between the TSA and the aviation industry must change so the agency can become more effective. So why not let airlines take care of their own security? What the TSA needs, Neffenger told the Aero Club of Washington D.C., is to “think about the true collaborative nature of the system,” and perhaps even “increase wait time slightly if it means keeping you safer.”
Like any government employee, the head of the TSA doesn’t seem to mind that the system is flawed, no matter how you slice it. In an environment where security organizations compete to serve passengers better, a company with the same history of failures as TSA’s would not survive more than a few months. With a source of endless cash coming from taxpayers, however, the TSA chief doesn’t have to worry about being a good service provider.
But Neffenger seems unstoppable. So much so, he’s even talking about rebuilding the TSA from scratch if all the great entrepreneurial ideas coming from government employees don’t make the cut:
“I’m a big fan of thinking … could it be different? If you were building TSA from scratch from today … would you do everything the same? You want to think unconstrained before you think constrained … There is no more entrepreneurial place to be than an agency that’s fighting an enemy that’s constantly changing.”
Wonder how many more tax hikes it will take before we’re truly safe in America.
Do you think airlines should pressure Congress to put an end to the TSA? Let us know what you think!