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Airport to privatize security

Federal workers confront board

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Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 2:00 am | Updated: 10:31 am, Thu Apr 17, 2014.

The Glacier Park International Airport Authority Board is sticking by its decision to privatize its airport security force, but took time on Tuesday to answer questions from local federal security workers who are worried about job security.

The board decided more than a year ago to apply to the Transportation Security Administration Screening Partnership Program to use a private contractor for security screening of air passengers and baggage, but waited until July this year to submit the application. The application still is being processed.

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          Welcome to the discussion.

          12 comments:

          • AnthonyL posted at 7:53 pm on Sat, Oct 24, 2009.

            AnthonyL Posts: 1

            I am frequent flier and GPI is my home airport, I fly in and out every week of the year! The TSA staff at GPI is the best, always friendly, customer and security focused. I feel safe when I fly out. The Board and Director of GPI need to fly to other airports and see how long of a wait you have at Salt Lake, Newark, JFK, Seattle just to name a few. Saying that GPI has long lines and long waits is ridiculous. The reasons that were noted in the articles are just not valid.

            Now is NOT the time to privatize security. Why would anyone during this down economy want to spend more money and replace something that works? Instead of wasting money whether it be 2.7% or 17%, spend it on getting more flights, lower costs seats, how about RADAR? The TSA needs to stay at GPI!!!!!

             
          • Jack1983 posted at 4:27 pm on Thu, Oct 22, 2009.

            Jack1983 Posts: 2

            Yes, sometimes the GPI screeners are nice and sometimes they aren't. and I've been through the checkpoints when it's a breeze and I've also almost missed my flights. but you people need to get out of town more often. I fly in and out of cities all over the country, all the time. they most efficient, nicest, friendliest and most organized are in San Francisco and Kansas City. Both of those airports have contract screeners and they are terrific. and they've won customer service awards for their airports. and the local people like them. they have enough screeners to keep things moving and still be efficient and personable. what the GPI screeners are really upset about is......losing a cushy federal job and its seniority. all the other stuff is smoke. stop and think about it. Many of us laugh at the federal government's claim that a "public option" for health care will be more efficient and will encourage competition. do you think that this is, in the end any different? Meanwhile, for airport security, we do have a private option that is competitive. i tip my hat to the airport for stepping up to a better way. I've seen it. It works and Kalispell deserves it!

             
          • johnsorel posted at 7:00 pm on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            johnsorel Posts: 17

            It is time to replace the airport board with smarter, more competent people.

            This airport is a critical element of our economy and the board is largely a group of old white men who have lost touch. The cost of flights and the limited access is probably the largest stumbling block to economic growth the valley has to face. We are getting our butts kicked by other airports - and it affects the economy.

             
          • goldenboy posted at 4:22 pm on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            goldenboy Posts: 1

            What is the airport board thinking? When the Government is spending millions of dollars to strengthen the northern boarder the county managers want to soften it. I did not see one reasonable argument in this article that merits changing how security is operated at GPI.

            What I am more concerned about is how OUR COUNTY airport is managed. Do you realize that there are more board members then there are flights leaving this airport! GPI used to be the second busiest airport in Montana next to Billings. Not anymore!!!!!

             
          • cuzican posted at 4:15 pm on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            cuzican Posts: 231

            Don't fly, don't care who provides the airport security as long as they current people will keep a position with the private company so we don't have more people tossed out on their asses in this valley.

             
          • 1982Brave posted at 3:30 pm on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            1982Brave Posts: 2

            I now live in Atlanta and travel all around the country on business, I fly into Kalispell at least 2-3 times a year. I have never experienced a more professional and efficient TSA security staff. This group of people deserve to know why this change needs to be made now. I thought the reason the TSA was created was due to the poor security that was provided by them prior to 9/11. This article fails to mention what the true advantage (cost) would be for making this change. Seems like the private firms have created another way to influence decisions made by local bureaucrats, probably a nice trip to Vegas.

             
          • zelmo posted at 11:31 am on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            zelmo Posts: 19

            THere yah go again! Trying to privitize something that is a public function. The airport board needs to pull their collective head out of the place where the sun doesn't shine, and put this back into the public hands.

             
          • Wfsh Skier posted at 11:16 am on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            Wfsh Skier Posts: 2

            There is nothing wrong with the TSA staff at Glacier Park International. I have never had a problem with any of them. Try flying through the Atlanta airport! I am angered that the Airport Board is spending their time on things like this. Has anyone compared the price of a ticket out of Kalispell compared to Missoula or Spokane? There are few options to fly out of Kalispell right now. Why doesn't the board get more flight option out of Kalispell? This market should be easy to sell for them. I checked this morning and there are only six flights out Kalispell. This is a drastic change since years past. I even heard a travel agent, on a local radio station, say that they could not sell packages out of kalispell. They were routing them through Missoula due to limited flights out of FCA. The Airport Board may need to be replaced and not TSA.

             
          • concernedcitizen posted at 10:01 am on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            concernedcitizen Posts: 1

            I am also a traveling businessman and from my experience GPI is one of the most efficient and costomer service FRIENDLY airports I have traveled from. As far as the wait time what I have noticed is it is NOT the security it is either the airlines or passengers. some of them that don't understand the rules or have never flown which causes TSA customer service to kick in and explain to them what needs to be done. Which is more than I can say for other airports that just yell and get mad at these people. In my travels I have heard other passengers comment about GPI and how thorough and efficient they are at processing passenger but the main compliment is that they are one of the best airports they have frown from. They stated that they feel safesty flying from GPI. I think that this is a unnecessary issue that is causing unneed stress for these employees and cost that is not justified.

             
          • zonta posted at 9:52 am on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            zonta Posts: 2

            I travel through Kalispell from time to time and find the TSA to be very professional. I recall an incident where a woman in line in front of me was very upset because she could not bring her oversized liquids through the security area. She went on to argue that she could bring them through because she was an airline employee. The TSA explained to her she had to be in her uniform and she continued to argue with them. She was not permitted to bring them through just like the rest of us but the woman once on the other side was on her cell phone complaining to someone and was demanding that the TSA be in trouble for not making an exception for her. I am glad that they did not waver for this woman. We all have to follow the rules to make flying safe for all of us. What really got me about this was another passenger leaned over to me and alleged…that woman is the daughter of the Airport manager. If that was true you would think she would have more respect for the process instead of trying to find ways around it. When I look back at that incident I can’t help but think that this whole privatization issue is more personal then anything. There is no cost savings here and it just adds more people trying to assert power and control. If it is not broke…why fix it? I support the TSA at Kalispell. Is it me or am I reading that one minute this manager is saying there are staff issues and the next she is saying there is not. Sounds personal to me…why is a city official acting this way? When is the next meeting ? I would like to attend

             
          • zonta posted at 9:47 am on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            zonta Posts: 2

            I travel through Kalispell from time to time and find the TSA to be very professional. I recall an incident where a woman in line in front of me was very upset because she could not bring her oversized liquids through the security area. She went on to argue that she could bring them through because she was an airline employee. The TSA explained to her she had to be in her uniform and she continued to argue with them. She was not permitted to bring them through just like the rest of us but the woman once on the other side was on her cell phone complaining to someone and was demanding that the TSA be in trouble for not making an exception for her. I am glad that they did not waver for this woman. We all have to follow the rules to make flying safe for all of us. What really got me about this was another passenger leaned over to me and alleged…that woman is the daughter of the Airport manager. If that was true you would think she would have more respect for the process instead of trying to find ways around it. When I look back at that incident I can’t help but think that this whole privatization issue is more personal then anything. There is no cost savings here and it just adds more people trying to assert power and control. If it is not broke…why fix it? I support the TSA at Kalispell. Is it me or am I reading that one minute this manager is saying there are staff issues and the next she is saying there is not. Sounds personal to me…why is a city official acting this way? When is the next meeting ? I would like to attend

             
          • traveler posted at 7:44 am on Wed, Oct 21, 2009.

            traveler Posts: 2

            I used to live in Kalispell and I travel for my job. I can tell you after flying from all cities across the US there is no better TSA staff than the ones at Glacier International. They were always efficient and friendly. I am very disappointed to hear that their jobs may be outsourced. As far as long waits at Glacier that is crazy go to Newark, LA or Philly now that is long waits. I now live in IL and fly out of an airport the size of Glacier and have just as long a wait here. But the TSA here are not nice and do not care. I think Someone needs to rethink this decision!

             

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