Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) Turns 10 Amidst Criticism Of Its Efficacy

10:07 AM, Nov 16, 2011   |    comments
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POTOMAC, Md. (WUSA) -- "We're a lot safer than we were ten years ago but we have enormous strides that we still have to overcome, in many ways," said retired American Airlines pilot Mark Weiss on Tuesday, as he pondered the tenth anniversary of the Transportation Security Administration, which was created by Congress on November 16, 2001.

The Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. John Mica, a Republican from Florida, is marking the event Wednesday with a 10 year review of the agencies successes and failures and is calling for reforms in the way the TSA does business.

Mica sites instances where government auditors were able to sneak aboard aircraft materials that screeners should have caught but did not.

He says there are 25,000 documented instances in the last 10 years.

It is not perceived by the public to be a customer-friendly agency.

"They came from basically a law enforcement background and everything that TSA has done has been geared from that point of view rather than necessarily listening to the end users operational perspective," Weiss told 9News Now.

"When that young six-year-old girl was patted down having a TSA agent having a hand in her pants, that was a horrendous event.

"It has taken this long, ten years for the TSA to recognize they can't do something like that. The message that they send is absolutely wrong. The way people view them is with dread in many cases," Weiss said.

"What can we do? More canines, better training for airline personnel - force multipliers - taking airline personnel
and letting them get behavioral training. They are the first and sometimes the last lines of defense onboard an aircraft or in the terminal. They haven't done that. They haven't embraced that yet. They haven't accepted people as partners, " Weiss said.

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