The TSA wants to expand its reach to include the 15,000 private and corporate jets and 300+ small airports that are currently outside its jurisdiction. The security agency claims that many of the jets are the same size as small commercial planes and could be used to commit acts of terrorism. They want all private jet passengers and crews to pass a background check before boarding their planes. Private plane owners, pilots and corporate fliers are crying foul. Most call the proposed plan an invasion of privacy and a waste of money.
But whose money would it be wasting? According to the TSA, 85% of the $200 million per year it would take to fund the screening will come from fees charged to the jets’ owners and operators. The proposal does not include physical screening. Passengers and crews would have to provide ID and give their name and birth date. The TSA will most likely subcontract out the work to security firms that specialize in background checks. The proposal, which is more than 200 pages long, states that frequent fliers will only have to pass the background check once.