Airport Screener Loses Post-9/11 Takings Claim

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Congress did not take an airport screening company’s property away when the U.S. government assumed control of the screening process after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Federal Circuit ruled.

     After the 2001 attacks, Congress determined that the Transportation Security Administration would do a more effective job of screening passengers than private contractors.
     One of those private contractors, Huntleigh USA, sued the government in 2003, claiming the screening swap constituted a governmental taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
     The federal appeals court found that the government did not take over the contracts, but simply assumed the duties that were formerly performed by the airlines.
     Also, the judges concluded that Huntleigh is not entitled to compensation for its lost business. Compensation would only be allowed if the government “stepped into the shoes” of Huntleigh as an airline screening contractor, the ruling states.

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