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house Bill H.R. 4549

Does the TSA Need to Provide Screenings at Airports that Bring Back Passenger Flights?

Argument in favor

Small airports are the most convenient air travel option for many Americans who may live several hours away from a larger hub. If an airline wants to serve that airport and its consumers who haven’t had service, the TSA shouldn’t stand in the way by withholding security screenings.

GrumpyMSgt's Opinion
Yes! What an opportunity for returning military dogs and handlers! Show the laughable TSA how it's done.
Like (12)
J's Opinion
The TSA is a boon-doggle, private security could handle small airports.
Like (5)
Arthur's Opinion
TSA needs to become more efficient in their operations at both large airports and small
Like (2)

Argument opposed

If an airport has already lost passenger service once, it might be difficult to maintain service once its restored. The TSA shouldn’t allow service to return to small airports because the agency needs to save money, even if that inconveniences air traveling locals.

Patrick's Opinion
In fact the TSA is a totally useless agency which should be abolished. Airports and airlines should be responsible for all security.
Like (10)
Mart's Opinion
But, not for the reason presented here on this post. TSA is incompetent, let airports decide to provide services, flight or searches.
Like (5)
resistor's Opinion
If I recall correctly, a recent IG report indicated that the TSA failed to find 90% of contraband concealed in test baggage at major airports. What could possibly be the point in spreading this farce elsewhere?
Like (1)

What is House Bill H.R. 4549?

This bill would require the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to provide security screenings at any airport that lost commercial air service on or after January 1, 2013. The airport operator would have to submit a request for the TSA to conduct those screenings in and provide a written commitment from a commercial airline that intends to resume service at the airport within one year.

The TSA would be required to ensure that the process of restoring security screenings is completed by the later of:

  • 90 days after the airport operator submits their request;

  • The date on which the carrier intends to resume service.

Security screenings are a necessity for commercial flights departing U.S. airports, and the TSA has resisted reinstating those screenings to small airports that lost commercial service but have airlines interested in bringing flights back. This bill would require the TSA to provide those screenings if airport operators satisfy the legislation’s requirements.


Air travelers who wish to fly out of airports that don’t have air service because the TSA isn’t there conducting screenings; airport operators; airlines; and the TSA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4549

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) was motivated to introduce this bill following the TSA’s refusal to conduct security screenings at small airports in California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. An airport in Klamath Falls, OR lost commercial service in mid-2014, and despite the willingness of a new airline to serve that community the TSA refused to offer security screenings, causing Walden to take action:

“Since TSA won’t restore screening to Klamath Falls on its own, Congress needs to pass a new law forcing them to do so. The people of Klamath County deserve safe, reliable air service. Returning commercial air service would give greater flexibility to residents, tourists, and business travelers, and it would help grow jobs in rural communities in Klamath County and across the region.”

This legislation was approved unanimously by the House Homeland Security Committee, and has the support of eight bipartisan cosponsors — including six Republicans and a Democrat.

Of Note: The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) process of awarding airport improvement grants is based on the number of passengers served by an airport in a given year. For example, the Crater Lake Klamath Regional Airport would receive $1 million annually if it serves 10,000 or more passengers — but without those the funding falls to $150,000 per year.


Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: EdChem (talk) - Uploader took photograph using Olympus Digital Camera, CC0,


Treating Small Airports with Fairness Act of 2016

Official Title

To require the Transportation Security Administration to conduct security screening at certain airports, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed April 13th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Transportation and Maritime Security
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedFebruary 11th, 2016

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