CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Safety in the skies has been a top priority, but now the Transportation Security Administration may pull its agents from 150 airports, claiming they aren't prime targets for terrorists.
According to CNN, TSA is considering eliminating screening at more than 150 small and medium-sized airports across the U.S.
Internal documents say the impacted airports serve planes with 60 seats or fewer.
Michael Lowrey is an aviation expert and is bewildered by recent reports that TSA is considering removing operations from the airports.
He told Channel 9 that some cities that could be impacted are Beckley, West Virginia and Florence, South Carolina.
Charlotte would see changes as well because of incoming flights. The airport would have to figure out a way to park the unscreened planes and check out the people on them.
“It is an operational nightmare for the airport, it is an operational nightmare for airlines,” said Lowrey.
Security expert Walter Kimble said the $115 million savings from cutting screening is not worth the potential threats, citing the terrorist attack on 9/11 as an example.
Those terrorists flew into Portland, Maine because they thought the airport would be less secure than a major city.
“We know that prevention is very difficult to quantify, but we can also see we have had a lull in air attacks,” said Kimble.
Passengers are nervous about the change and believe checkpoints are too valuable to cut back on.
“It's to keep everybody safe, not just my kids, your kids, mother, father, everyone wants to be safe,” said passenger She'lia Cody.
According to CNN, the cuts would impact 10,000 people daily.
Charlotte-Douglas Airport and Concord's airport wouldn't lose TSA agents because the planes that fly out of those airports have more than 100 seats.
A full list of the 150 airports has not been released.
TSA said there has been no decision to eliminate passenger screening and any potential changes would not take place without a risk assessment.
Read CNN's full report here.
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