April 16, 2002
In a Senate transportation appropriations subcommittee hearing on aviation safety and capacity issues, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) stated that "the biggest weakness in the national transportation system is in the FBOs," and that while there are security measures in place for commercial aircraft, there is "no consideration given to security of private aircraft. Literally anyone can get in a private plane." Senator Campbell left the hearing after he made his comments, so the sole witness at the hearing, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, did not respond.
"It's unfortunate that Senator Campbell made these statements today giving the public the perception that general aviation is not safe. Frankly, I am distressed that general aviation continues to be the whipping boy when we are not the security threat," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The general aviation community has been proactive ever since the events of 9/11, including a series of security recommendations made last December by AOPA and other general aviation organizations to John Magaw, under secretary of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Two weeks ago, Boyer also shared these with Homeland Security Director former Governor Tom Ridge.
"We've repeatedly expressed a willingness to work with the government on security, including AOPA's petition for a direct final rule requiring pilots to carry a picture ID—something the FAA seems reluctant to do," Boyer said. "We extend our willingness to work with Sen. Campbell, but he must remember, we are not the threat. Security regulations must recognize the unique nature of general aviation pilots."
Advocacy and Legislation,
Transportation Security Administration,
Shell announced Dec. 3 the development of an unleaded aviation fuel that will be submitted for certification as a "performance drop-in" avgas replacement.
Just as many were headed out of Washington, D.C., to begin the Thanksgiving holiday, the general aviation community found one more reason to be thankful as the long-awaited Small Airplane Revitalization Act became law.
Pilots impacted by the FAA’s proposed new obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) policy can expect to pay some $2,000 to more than $5,000 for testing and, if needed, equipment for treatment, according to an AOPA investigation.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.