Ron Nixon:

Sixteen of the nation’s 450 airports use private contractors, including larger ones like San Francisco International Airport as well as smaller ones like Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming.

SFO is really great to go through compared to the TSA playground that is SeaTac. But I am confused by this bit:

Those that want to leave the agency’s screening program must prove to the federal government that contractors are more cost-effective and would not be detrimental to security. The private screeners have to follow T.S.A. guidelines and fall under its supervision, although the agency will not conduct private screeners’ training. The T.S.A. will pay for the private screeners.

Here’s what I don’t get: if an airport opts for private contractors, the TSA still pays for them? If that’s not the case, then why do the private contractors need to be more “cost-effective”? Shouldn’t all that matter be if private contractors are as effective as TSA screeners? (Truthfully it’s hard to imagine a monkey not being more effective than a TSA screener.)

[via read Bill T.]