Language included in the federal homeland security funding bill encourages the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to continue moving forward on expanding the TSA Access Certificate (TSAAC), a voluntary general aviation security program now being tested by 24 business aviation operators at three New York-area general aviation airports. In December, the TSA endorsed TSAAC and committed to work with the industry to expand the program.
– The Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration finally surrendered to Congressional pressure and offered a plan to open Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation traffic.
At a hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee last month, representatives of general aviation organizations spelled out the measures GA has taken to improve security since 9/11.
A Senate amendment that called for severe fines, loss of license and aircraft confiscation for violating the flight restricted zone (FRZ) in the Washington air defense identification zone was stripped from the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill last month.
BroadWare Technologies has been selected to implement a wireless video surveillance platform at Long Beach (Calif.) Airport. The new system will enable three separate Long Beach Airport security operations centers to simultaneously monitor distant sites, including secured airport areas, public parking lots and roadway tunnels.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the number-one priority quickly became answering “How did it happen?” and “How do we stop it from happening again?”
Four years later, we know how it happened, leaving the matter of how to stop it from happening again, and raising a third question: “How safe are we?”
Despite the dramatic August 10 revelation of a terrorist plot to blow up transatlantic airliners departing from the UK, European Union (EU) transport officials have not accelerated their plans to rework the existing EC2320 aviation security regulations. The draft rules are next due to be discussed at a meeting of EU countries’ transport ministers on October 9.
For GA airports that are searching for ways to train employees, tenants and users about TSA security guidelines, an Edmonton, Canada company has released a new, online self-study course, “Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports.”
Some states have taken a hard line on GA airport security. For example, Alabama has made the TSA voluntary guidelines a state regulation because of an incident in which a drunken teenager stole an airplane, according to NASAO president Henry Ogrodzinski. Public airports that refuse to comply lose their state funding.
Even though a general aviation airplane has never been used for a known act of terrorism, securing general aviation airports against any such act continues to be a high priority throughout the nation.
While federal government agencies have decided that terrorists using a general aviation aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction is highly unlikely, the perception of a threat is forcing airports to take protective measures.