Covenant/Lockheed team selected as private screening contractor at Sioux Falls

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National Press Release
Friday, December 16, 2005

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced selection of the Covenant Aviation Security (CAS)/Lockheed Martin Information & Technology Services team as the private screening contractor for Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. under the Screening Partnership Program (SPP).

TSA awarded the contract for security screening services for passenger, checkpoint and checked baggage operations from vendors who submitted proposals and are among the 34 private screening companies identified on TSA's Qualified Vendor's List (QVL). The total contract award value, including options, is approximately $12 million. The total period of performance is five years, which will commence on December 19, 2005 and end on September 30, 2010 (if all options are exercised).

This award will enable the airport to transition from TSA federal screening officers to private screeners employed by the CAS/Lockheed team. However, under SPP, the federal security director (FSD) will still be responsible for maintaining TSA security standards. A timeline for the transition at Sioux Falls will be developed and released in early January 2006.

"We look forward to working with the CAS/Lockheed team and the airport director and his staff to ensure a smooth transition from federal Transportation Security Officers to private screeners," said Sioux Falls Acting FSD Mark Heisey. "We at TSA will continue to oversee all security screening procedures to ensure that current standards are met."

SPP is designed to meet the requirement for the "opt-out" program established in the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA). Since November 19, 2004, airport operators have been allowed to apply to TSA to have screening functions performed by qualified private screening contractors through the SPP. Beginning in 2002, ATSA required TSA to conduct a contract screening pilot program (known as the "PP5") at five airports to evaluate the performance of private screeners relative to federal screeners.

Under ATSA, the pilot program ended on November 19, 2004, but TSA issued short bridge contracts to the original PP5 contractors to allow TSA time to develop the rules for applying for the SPP, the acquisition process, the QVL and the Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for the new contracts. All the original PP5 airports [San Francisco International, Kansas City International (Mo.), Greater Rochester International (N.Y.), Jackson Hole Airport (Wyo.), and Tupelo Airport (Miss.)] and one federalized airport at Sioux Falls, applied to have qualified contractors perform screening functions.

CAS is currently providing screening services at the San Francisco and Tupelo airports. Over the next few months, TSA plans to complete the procurement process for all of the original PP5 airports.

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