Originally created 07/09/02

Augusta Regional needs screeners



With a congressional deadline looming, a federal agency is looking to hire more than 60 passenger screeners for Augusta Regional Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration began accepting applications for the positions at 81 airports last week, including Augusta Regional.

The agency, which assumed the responsibility in February, has until Nov. 18 to replace all passenger checkpoint screeners with federal employees.

Before Sept. 11, passenger screeners were hired by individual airlines through private security companies.

Interested applicants must have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, or at least one year of full-time work experience in security or aviation screening.

"Those are the minimum qualifications you must meet in order to apply," said TSA spokeswoman Deirdre O'Sullivan.

Applicants will receive a postcard in the mail directing them to a local assessment center. Ms. O'Sullivan said the date and location for the testing center in the Augusta area has not yet been announced.

She said candidates will spend five to eight hours taking English-proficiency and basic aptitude tests.

Applicants also have to meet a physical requirement, such as lifting a heavy suitcase. The salary for the positions range from $23,600 to $35,400.

Because the TSA must hire federal employees at all 429 of the nation's commercial airports before the November deadline, the agency is advising those interested to apply soon.

Ms. O'Sullivan said the federal government will likely hire another 25 people to screen baggage at Augusta Regional, but those positions are not yet open.

TO APPLY

Candidates can apply for a federal passenger screening position two ways: by filling out a form at www.tsa.dot.gov or calling (877) 631-5627.

Reach Vicky Eckenrode at (706) 823-3227 or vicky.eckenrode@augustachronicle.com.