- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The Transportation Security Administration has awarded its first nationwide contract for disposal of property left by airline passengers at security checkpoints to Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) of Reston.

The contract represents a new TSA policy for disposing of the millions of scissors, razor blades, self-defense pepper sprays, flammable paints and other items that passengers are prohibited from carrying onto commercial airplanes.

Until now, state agencies disposed of the property at all commercial airports. Now, the federal government will get rid of the items in states that do not dispose of them under government hazardous-waste disposal standards.

“Not every state has been able to do this,” said Chris Rhatigan, TSA spokeswoman. “We’re averaging 500,000 prohibited items left at checkpoints each month. It’s a lot more responsible to do it this way, and it will be safer for everyone concerned.”

Other than surrendering the items at checkpoints, passengers can put the objects in vehicles, leave them with someone else or not fly.

Anything passengers leave at checkpoints becomes the property of the federal government. They also give up their right to reclaim the property on a return trip.

At some airports, abandoned items are disposed of after a period of time required by state law. At other airports, a state agency for surplus property collects the items and distributes or disposes of them according to state regulations.

SAIC will take over disposal at airports such as Orlando International Airport in Florida, Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport and Miami International Airport.

“This new contract will contribute to a safe environment for our screeners and the passengers they serve,” Adm. James Loy, TSA chief, said in a statement.

Property left behind at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is disposed of under a contract with a local hazardous-waste firm. Airport officials were uncertain whether SAIC would take over disposal at Washington Dulles International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

The TSA awarded the contract Oct. 8 under General Service Administration standards.

“We are very pleased to be working with TSA,” said Jason McIntosh, SAIC spokesman. The company declined to give details about how it will dispose of the property.

SAIC has agreed to dispose of property collected at commercial airports in the United States and its territories.

The company also is supposed to deliver containers for the storage of hazardous materials and train TSA employees for proper handling of the material and document compliance with federal regulations.

The contract is valued at $2 million for the first seven months, with options worth up to $17 million.

SAIC is a 40,000-employee research and engineering company specializing in information technology and systems integration for commercial and government customers.

The company’s contracts involve national and homeland security, energy, the environment, space, telecommunications, health care, transportation and logistics. SAIC is using Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc. of Braintree, Mass.; South Pacific Environmental of Guam; and HazMatPac of Houston as subcontractors.

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