TSA Program Could Ease Lines at OIA

The test program would use private contractors to load luggage into explosive-detection machines.

Also, portions of a government report made public this month showed that undercover investigators were able to pass bomb-making materials through the checkpoints at 21 airports across the country.

Orlando International and airlines have tried to ease the security burden through measures of their own. The airport has started construction on a baggage-conveyor system that ultimately could reduce the number of TSA employees handling luggage.

And airlines are working together to pay for private baggage loaders and workers who remind passengers to remove change from their pockets and take off their belts before stepping through the metal detectors. Those airline-funded workers only work at select peak times, said Marilee McInnis, spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, Orlando's largest carrier.

Still, Keller's chief of staff said more relief is needed.

"Anybody who's been there in recent months knows the passenger screening lines have gotten out of hand, and something needs to be done," Bryan Malenius said.

Beth Kassab can be reached at bkassab@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5448.


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