Oakland airport gets federal screeners

Wednesday October 09, 2002

OAKLAND — The first 88 federal baggage screeners at Oakland International Airport took their posts at 4 a.m. Tuesday. 

They will work in the airport’s north terminal as part of a phased-in transition that will likely last until Nov. 19, the deadline for which all screeners must be federal employees. A total of 220 screeners work at Oakland’s airport. 

The screeners, who were sworn in during a brief ceremony Monday, will earn between $28,000 and $42,000 annually. 

Veteran screeners who are U.S. citizens will start testing for the new federal positions in Oakland. 

The federalization of airport screeners was one of the earliest responses by Congress to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. So far, federal screeners have taken up their posts at 142 of 429 airports nationwide, said Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the federal Transportation Security Administration. 

Federal screeners also started Tuesday at airports in Los Angeles, Fresno and at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. 

San Francisco International is one of five airports nationwide that will use private screeners as part of a test to compare government screeners with their private-sector counterparts.