After news broke last week of the Transportation Security Administration’s unauthorized inspections of Nashville (Tenn.) Airport pilots and employees and their baggage, concern about the TSA’s plans for random screening at FBOs has grown. A TSA document called the Playbook apparently outlines the procedures for random screenings at general aviation facilities, and NBAA has expressed concerns about planned Playbook-related actions.
The February 27 deadline for comments about the Transportation Security Administration’s Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) rules proposal is rapidly approaching, and on December 17 the TSA released plans for a series of town hall meetings to solicit more input from the general aviation community. The meetings begin January 6 at Westchester County Airport and end January 28 in Houston (see box).
The Transportation Security Administration was scheduled to publish in the Federal Register late last month a proposed set of regulations that, if enacted, will ground every general aviation aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight of more than 12,500 pounds.
Seven years after 9/11, general aviation is still vulnerable to acts of terrorism because of inaction by the White House, according to a report prepared by the Democratic staffs of the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees.
The Transportation Security Administration on Friday released two sets of voluntary general aviation security action items (SAI) for FBOs and aircraft operators. The guidance documents do not constitute regulatory requirements and are based on a previously issued TSA publication. The agency noted that most of the measures recommended in the SAIs were included in the TSA’s “Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports” dated May 2004.
With the end-of-summer political conventions set for Minneapolis and Denver, the FAA transferred the general aviation security program designed for access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to provide top cover for the Republican gathering.
A story in Monday’s USA Today that reported the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is working on “a massive expansion” of aviation security rules has the general aviation community on edge. Aviation groups are concerned that new security regulations could severely restrict the convenience and utility of GA aircraft.
The world didn’t necessarily become a more dangerous place on Sept. 11, 2001, but the terrorist attacks that day impressed upon business travelers just how dangerous the world can be. The knee-jerk reaction of many companies was to ban all employees from flying on company business.
Warning that TFRs should be expected for any Presidential and Vice Presidential visits, NBAA is encouraging its members to monitor media reports of planned VIP events to assist in long-range planning.
General aviation organizations have been working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this summer to develop security recommendations for GA airports of all sizes, and a report is expected to be issued near the end of this month.