TSA Troubles: How The Budget Could Affect Indiana Airports

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TSA Troubles: How The Budget Could Affect Indiana Airports

Why a security expert says he hopes the TSA changes directions, so smaller airports stay safe.

INDIANAPOLIS--A plan by the TSA could mean that security screenings at some of Indiana's small and medium sized airports could be stopped. Robert Caltabiano, a former Scret Service agent and security expert, believes that could put people using those airports at risk.

"They are taking it away from the smaller airports...and taking those resources and bringing them to the larger airports," said Caltabiano. The plan is to stop the screenings for airports that fly planes with 60 seats or less, to devote money to bringing in more dogs and 3-D scanners to the larger airports.

The idea is that larger airports would be bigger and better targets for terroists. That idea doesn't fly with Caltabiano.

"The smaller airports are just as important as bigger airports. A plane is a plane," he said. He said an example of what can happen, though it happened at a larger airport, is the man who stole a plane and crashed it near the Seattle airport.

"It's typical government that sometimes they don't think. They look at the money side of it. Do I think it's going to happen? I pray and hope that it won't," said Caltabiano. 

But, he said if it does happen, he hopes that some of the airports would hire private security for screenings. Some airports still employ private companies, and many more did before the TSA was formed.

"If we have smaller airports that can do it better than TSA, and I believe there are, I believe that's something to look into," he said. "I think we always can do it better in many ways, if we privatize some of the security processes at some of these airports."

That would end up costing Hoosiers more money, if their cities were to pay for security.

Caltabiano said he believes that some of the security procedures could also be a combined effort between the TSA and private companies. But, having no security is an unacceptable outcome.

"We have to have security for our airports. If not, we're just a time bomb again because the terrorists are seeing this and they will realize what they can do again."

PHOTO: IStock/Kummeleon

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