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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Screening Partnership Program

The Screening Partnership Program contracts security screening services at commercial airports to qualified private companies. These companies run screening operations under federal oversight and must comply with all TSA security screening procedures. Companies interested in providing screening services can find opportunities on Commercial airports interested in applying for the program may submit an application to the local airport federal security director.


Complete the online application.

Provide a copy of your application to the federal security director of your airport.

You will receive notification within 120 days.

SPP Airports

For more information on the Screening Partnership Program, please contact the airport federal security director. 

Screening Partnership Program FAQ

Can an airport authority apply to use contract screeners at some airport security checkpoints but not all; a partial opt-out?

TSA will not accept applications to privatize a portion of an airport’s security screening operations. This model limits the flexibility of staffing required to run critical security programs, thereby not providing a successful environment for TSA or the vendor.

Can an airport compete to provide security screening services at their airport?

Yes, If the airport authority meets the qualification criteria identified by 49 U.S.C. § 44920, as amended, it may compete for the contract to provide screening services at that airport. This does not guarantee they will be awarded the contract for security screening services. The airport will be required to compete in the normal procurement process.

Can any company submit a proposal? Do airlines have to form a company to submit a proposal?

In June, TSA will award an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity contract to multiple vendors for a period of 10 years. If an airline or any other entity with a security screening company meets the qualification criteria identified by 49 U.S.C. § 44920, and TSA determines that there is a need to add additional vendors to the current multiple award contract for the Screening Partnership Program, that company could submit a proposal in a competitive procurement process to compete for the security screening services contract.

Can the airport authority advise the screening contract company on security screening service operations at their airport?

The contract screening company is contracted by TSA to provide the security screening services. TSA monitors vendor performance according to their contract. The vendor must comply with all TSA standard operating procedures and operational directives. The airport authority has no new role or impact on the screening operations as a result of the program.

Can the airport authority be part of the formal source selection process for the program?

The Office of Management and Budget has provided federal agencies specific guidance on the issue of what is considered “inherently governmental” work when it comes to the government procurement process. They cannot participate as a voting member in the source selection process.

Can the airport authority elect to privatize non-regulatory positions, such as moving bins and divestiture officer positions?

If the airport authority wishes to contract directly with a vendor to provide non-regulatory or non-certified positions, TSA will not object. Any such work would of course have to follow all standard operating procedures and other pertinent regulations. The work would also have to be coordinated through the federal security director to assure proper supervision.

Do SPP airports have the same number of contract screeners as federalized airports?

The private company providing security screening services ultimately determines the number of contract screeners hired. TSA seeks to provide flexibility to the contractor to manage the operations as efficiently as possible while meeting security and customer service standards.

Does the use of a contract company reduce the employee hiring timeframe?

Private security screening companies are subject to the same security screener hiring restrictions and challenges as the federal government. Contract screener candidates receive the same security background check and must meet the same medical requirements as prospective federal security screeners. In addition, hiring and retention are affected by the airport’s local economy and all contract screeners must attend all TSA provided training to include training at the TSA Academy in Glynco, Ga.

How does an airport authority apply to the Screening Partnership Program?

Is TSA required to award a contract within a specific timeframe?

TSA has 12 months from the receipt of an SPP application to award a contract to a qualified vendor.

To what extent does the airport authority participate in selecting a contractor?

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 requires TSA to give the airport authority the opportunity to recommend a vendor on the application itself. However, Federal Acquisition Regulations and DHS/TSA regulations regulate the actual evaluation of the proposal and contract awards with no consideration to any vendor recommendations by the airport.

What is the application period?

An airport authority may submit their application to participate in program at any time. The application period is open, with no defined end date. TSA has 120 calendar days to approve or deny an application.

What is the criterion for airport applicant selection?

In February 2012, the president signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which directed the TSA administrator to approve SPP applications if the administrator determines that “the approval would not compromise security or detrimentally affect the cost-efficiency or the effectiveness of the screening of passengers or property at the airport”.

What recourse does an airport authority have if TSA denies the application?

As stipulated by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, if an application is denied, TSA must inform the airport operator within 60 days, “… (i) the findings that served as the basis for the denial; (ii) the results of any cost or security analysis conducted in considering the application; and (iii) recommendations on how the airport operator can address the reasons for the denial.”

If the procurement process does not result in a contract with a qualified private screening company, the airport’s application is considered approved indefinitely until it is withdrawn by the airport authority.

Who is eligible to submit an application to participate in the SPP?

The program application process is open to all federally staffed airports in the United States that require security screening services.