Sioux Falls Airport to Hire Private Baggage-Screening Firm

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- The Sioux Falls Airport plans to hire a private company to screen baggage, becoming one of six airports in the nation to move to private screeners.

Other airports use federal screeners.

Congress now is allowing airports to hire private firms to screen baggage. Still, the Transportation and Security Administration will hire the company and keep funding and monitoring the screeners.

The airport director, Mike Marnach, said the private contractors will have the incentive to be friendly and oriented toward customer service. The same screeners now working at the airport could be hired by the new contractor, he said.

Marnach said firms need to submit bids by October and that he hopes to have private screeners by the first of the year

Copyright 2005 Associated Press