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TSA chief: airports won't hire private screeners

By KYLE HIGHTOWER Associated Press

February 01, 2011

The Transportation Security Administration says it is not going to hire private contractors to screen airline passengers, despite calls from a powerful Florida congressman to do so.

TSA Administrator John Pistole said in a memo to his employees late Friday that the federal agency will keep private contractors at 16 U.S. airports, but will not use them anywhere else unless a clear advantage emerges in the future.

Pistole's memo comes two months after Florida Republican Rep. John Mica wrote to the country's busiest airports and asked them to use private security guards.

The issue of airport security intensified last year when passengers complained about full-body scans and a more intrusive style of pat-down searches.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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