When the Transportation Security Administration takes charge
Tuesday of screening all passengers and bags at
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, it will be the first airport to do
so in Southern California.
While transitioning from a contracted staff to a federal one,
Burbank Federal Security Director Madelyn Sawyer intends to provide
passengers with excellent customer service.
"From the moment you walk up to the checkpoint to the time that
you board the aircraft, we want it to be friendly," Sawyer said.
"The ultimate goal is, from the time you put your bag on the belt,
we want you in and out in 10 minutes."
When Las Vegas made the transition Sept. 17, Sawyer was there to
ask passengers about the experience.
"I didn't have one complaint, they were very pleased," Sawyer
But Sawyer also stresses that the job's essential function is as
an airport's "first line of defense."
"They play a very, very significant role in the security at the
airport," Sawyer said.
In taking charge of screening at the nation's airports, the scope
of hands-on customer service provided by the federal government is
unprecedented, Burbank TSA customer service representative Jim
Along with being U.S. citizens and high school graduates, the
Burbank screeners will have also passed 14 hours of employment exams
that include aptitude testing, a criminal background check and
medical exams. After passing these tests, new recruits entered into
extensive training, Sawyer said.
Screeners who have worked at the airport as contracted employees
will leave their posts Monday. For those who qualify, it will be a
temporary leave while they receive the same training as the new
staff. They are guaranteed jobs, but they must pass the training,
"They have a lot of expertise, and we certainly want to tap into
that," Sawyer said.
Screeners are still being recruited for Burbank and other airports
nationwide. To apply, call toll-free (877) 631-5627 or go to