In the past month the nation and the aviation industry have successfully navigated the first-year anniversary of September 11, the first Code Orange alert (one tier below the highest level) and additional TFRs (around the three crash sites) that actually proved to be “temporary.”
Perhaps the sector of aviation most visibly affected by the events of September 11, the airline industry continues its struggle toward recovery, as security burdens, economic jitters and lingering public apprehension over flying conspire to sustain the worst slump in the history of the business.
One year after September 11, corporate aviation is still seeking assurances that its business aircraft will be able to operate on par with the commercial airlines in the event there is a future shutdown of parts or all of the National Airspace System.
“Know your enemy,” Dr. Richard Kobetz, executive director of the Executive Protection Institute, told attendees at a two-day corporate aircraft security seminar.
“In the next 60 to 90 days, you’re going to see security in the United States like you’ve never seen before,” said retired U.S. Navy admiral Isaac Richardson in late June. “A portion of the nation’s reappraisal took a very hard look at general aviation…and the threat posed by general aviation aircraft as weapons.”
As he promised in March, Under Secretary of Transportation Security John Magaw is considering applications for a director of general aviation security.
General aviation remains on the outside looking in at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) as federal government security agencies continue to stonewall even limited access to the popular facility by “qualified” GA operators.
Under the first major rulemaking of the DOT’s newly created Transportation Security Administration, scheduled for publication February 22, charter operations in Part 25 aircraft face a slew of new security regulations when passengers or crew are enplaning or deplaning in an airport’s “sterile” area (generally, the airline ramp or terminal and its gates).
The 2003 Budget in Brief is, as the title implies, brief, but its complexity still leads the aviation alphabet groups to cherrypick for comment, while news media reveal their opinions through select editing. Few readers study the original text, yielding conclusions that range from focused to false.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority chose Craig Airport for a Florida Department of Transportation program to test a system that will visually monitor day and night airport operations for security and to enhance airport operations. The Integrated GA Airport Security System (IGASS) uses infrared cameras to detect aircraft movements and monitor perimeter security.