Prohibit Cost-Shifting to Airports for Federal
Security Responsibilities

 

We urge Congress to reject ongoing efforts by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other federal agencies to shift federal responsibilities and costs to local airport operators.

 

  • Under permanent law, exit lane staffing is the responsibility of TSA at the 155 airports at which it performed those duties on December 1, 2013, and the agency must not be allowed to interpret the statute in a narrow way that effectively shifts exit lane staffing responsibility and costs to airport operators.

 

  • TSA should adequately reimburse airports for the costs associated with meeting federal duties and requirements under the local law enforcement officer reimbursement program.  

 

  • Congress must reject future efforts to shift other federal security functions and costs onto airport operators.

 

In the face of ongoing budget constraints, the TSA and other federal agencies have attempted to shift federal responsibilities and costs to airport operators.  Exit lane staffing and local law enforcement officer reimbursement are but two recent examples in which this has occurred.  Congress, as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, took affirmative action and confirmed in permanent law that exit lane staffing is the responsibility of TSA.  Unfortunately, the agency now appears to be taking a creative interpretation of the statute, which has impacted ongoing infrastructure upgrades at airports.  TSA has also steadily reduced the amount of money it is willing to reimburse airports for the performance of federal law enforcement functions conducted by local law enforcement authorities.