A provision that would establish a general aviation working group to advise the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on GA security issues is contained in the TSA Authorization Act expected to pass the House of Representatives before it adjourns tomorrow. The working group will look at security issues for general aviation facilities, including GA aircraft and helicopter operations at general aviation and commercial service airports.
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).
Perhaps one of the least appreciated benefits of corporate aviation is that its pilots and their passengers don’t have to endure the security procedures of crowded airport terminals. But the security hassles at the airport are the least of the concerns afflicting the senior managers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The Transportation Security Administration’s notice of public meeting and request for comments on “Aircraft Repair Station Security” (Docket No. TSA-2004-17131) garnered 20 comments by the March 29 deadline. Responses came from individual pilots, small and large maintenance facilities and special interest groups.
According to the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Reps. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the house subcommittee on aviation, sent a letter to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acting Administrator David Stone.
House and Senate bills to require all airport employees with access to secure and sterile areas of an airport to undergo metal detection screening in the same manner as airline passengers is drawing criticism from the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).
Can and should Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) be opened to general aviation and charter aircraft? That was the principal topic during an unusual March 16 field hearing, called for by House aviation subcommittee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), at the vacant Signature Flight Support hangar at DCA.
General aviation interests are encouraged by the appointment of Michal Morgan as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) general manager for general aviation. She previously served as the manager of general aviation for the Office of Operations Policy and the director of special operations for the TSA.
At an oversight meeting on the President’s proposed FY2006 budget for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), subcommittee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) expressed concern about the lack of progress by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA in reopening the airport.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now expected to issue an informational circular early this spring on security recommendations for general aviation landing facilities. Pam Hamilton, TSA director of aviation initiatives, said the agency hopes to issue the informational circular by March or April, although it could conceivably come sooner.