TSA Eyeing More Security for Part 91 Jets
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) boss Kip Hawley told a Senate panel that in addition to general aviation’s voluntary efforts to secure GA, the TSA was doing more screening of pilots and studying the “throw weight” of GA aircraft to determine the potential for causing harm. Currently, aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or more used in scheduled or charter service must operate under the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program. No such program is in place for Part 91, although NBAA worked successfully with the TSA to create a security protocol known as the TSA Access Certificate (TSAAC). A relative few companies hold a Part 91 TSAAC, which now only allows them to fly internationally without having to pass through one of eight “portal” countries. A Homeland Security spending bill signed by President Bush in 2005 urged the TSA to expand TSAAC, which provides standardized security procedures for large GA aircraft. However, the agency never followed through.