If United Airlines’ complete shutdown on Sunday doesn’t give you pause, the TSA, the government agency that gives your crotch a good once over and makes sure you don’t bring shampoo on a flight, is without a leader. Peter Neffenger, who is credited with turning the agency around after gross mismanagement, stepped down on Friday after 18 months on the job.
The Daily Beast reported that Neffenger was asked by the new administration to stay, but pretty much said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” It will be up to John Kelly, the new Secretary of Homeland Security, to find a replacement.
Neffenger, a lifelong military man from the Coast Guard, made the TSA more efficient by implementing better training, rescheduling shifts to accommodate peak travel times, rebranded them as anti-terrorism officers and, most importantly,secured more funding for state-of-the-equipment and more officers. As you remember when he came into the job in the summer of 2015, the TSA failed horribly at detecting exploding devices during a test, 67 out of 70.
“The hallmark of his tenure has been a vision to increase security while optimizing the travel experience, a strong level of collaboration and an unprecedented attitude of positive problem-solving with stakeholders,” said Nicholas Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, to USA Today.
As a result, the TSA cut down wait times to 30 minutes or less 98% of the time. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the new administration has yet to make any stance on what to do with the TSA. They have plenty to say about crowd sizes though.
Have a safe flight!