The head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said that he fully supports NBAA’s Transportation Security Administration Access Certificate (TSAAC) initiative, but the business aviation association remains frustrated by the TSA’s lack of progress in expanding the effort to increase the benefits of the TSAAC initiative.
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Aviation Technologies has created what it believes is a solution to the time-consuming process of checking air passenger and employee names against Transportation Security Administration (TSA) “no-fly” and “selectee no-fly cleared” and “selectee cleared” watch-lists. Those lists now total more than 120,000 people, most of whom are barred from flying or for whom additional security measures are necessary.
A helicopter service connecting Manhattan with New York City airports is due to start this month. On March 13 US Helicopter will introduce an eight-minute S-76B flight between the Wall Street Heliport and JFK Airport. The company will add services linking La Guardia and Newark Liberty International to Wall Street and the East 34th and 30th Street Heliports later this year.
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 application deadline for $125,000 in scholarship money for Women in Aviation International (WAI) members has been extended to December 10. The scholarships include type ratings from Bombardier Business Aviation Services, ExpressJet and Horizon Air, and a separate scholarship from Bombardier for Learjet maintenance training. ICAO, Garmin and Telex are also offering scholarships.
Although the Transportation Security Administration’s general aviation airport security guidelines working group was unable to reach a consensus on how to categorize public- and private-use GA airports for security purposes, last month it urged the TSA not to “isolate” general aviation with more stringent security procedures than those being adopted as “best practices” by other modes of transportation such as maritime, rail or highways.
The Transportation Security Administration plans soon to release changes to the voluntary general aviation security guidelines, and is looking at ways to “positively identify” pilots before and in flight. To find out more about what the TSA is doing, and how it views GA security in general, AIN spoke with Michal Morgan, the TSA’s general manager for general aviation.
“After May 1 operators not meeting the full requirements of the [twelve-five and private charter security] rules will be considered to be in noncompliance,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a notice last month. The TSA delayed the April 1 enforcement date after it conceded that some operators were having undue difficulty meeting the fingerprint requirement of the criminal-history record checks for their flight crews.
More than 615 comments–the great majority negative–were submitted on rules adopted in January that permit the FAA to immediately suspend or revoke the airman certificate of any pilot or mechanic the Transportation Security Administration has “determined to pose a security threat.” The rules establish procedures to appeal the action to the TSA; however, they cannot be appealed to a third party such as the NTSB.
General aviation interests expressed consternation over a May 1 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory warning the GA community against planned Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks using “light aircraft,” issued even as new TFRs covering a peripatetic President Bush continue to disrupt day-to-day operations.