TSA could end security screenings at small airports

TSA could ends security screening at small airport
The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is considered a small airport but it is also considered a commercial primary airport. (Source: WALB)
The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is considered a small airport but it is also considered a commercial primary airport. (Source: WALB)
Airport Director, David Hamilton (Source: WALB)
Airport Director, David Hamilton (Source: WALB)

Southwest Georgia (WALB) - The Transportation Security Administration is discussing cuts to save money and a number of options are being considered.

Documents have revealed that one option is to cut Air Marshals and potentially eliminate security screenings at small airports across the country.

The TSA said that this change could cut costs and save the agency more than $300 million in 2020.

This also could impact airports across the country and even in South Georgia.

One of those changes could be the TSA ending security screenings at small airports.

The Transportation Security Administration is looking at cutting security screening at more than 150 small and medium airports that operate commercial planes with 60 seats or fewer, according to internal documents from June and July.

"TSA agents go through your bags and there's also limitations on what you can bring in as far as the size of your containers and things of that nature," said Airport Director David Hamilton.

So how does this impact Southwest Georgia?

The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is in some gray area.

It is considered a small airport but it is also considered a commercial primary airport.

"Meaning we have over 10,000 enplanements a year so we're well over 40,000," explained Hamilton.

Hamilton hopes that with that much traffic, TSA will hold off on cutting their security checks.

"A lot of people come here to fly out simply because of the checkpoint. When you get to Atlanta, there's a hassle, there's a long line," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said he is concerned if this proposal goes through because of the threat to security.

"When you think about Homeland Security, that should be a priority and certainly with the number of passengers that fly in and out of Albany. I think Homeland Security is very important. So I would not want that to happen," explained Hamilton.

As for now, administrators of the airport are all ears for updates

"We're really listening to what's going on and hopefully that doesn't take place," said Hamilton.

There currently isn't a set list of which airports could be impacted, but it would be eliminated at more than 150 locations.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.