Influential U.S. senator urges FAA to approve AOPA photo ID petition

March 13, 2002

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-1006

The Honorable Jane Garvey
Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20591

Dear Administrator Garvey:

I am writing to you in support of a recent petition from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) which asks the FAA for a direct final rule to require that pilots carry government issued photo identification with them whenever they pilot an aircraft. I recommend prompt action by the FAA on this petition for rulemaking.

As the sponsor of an amendment included in section 129 of the Aviation Security Act (PL 107-71) to make the airmen registry more effective to combat terrorism, I believe AOPA's petition would provide a good interim step in achieving this goal. One of the central issues in addressing general aviation (GA) security is the ability to immediately identify general aviation pilots. This petition is an inexpensive and simple security enhancement that can be implemented immediately to address the public's concerns that pilot certificates are little more than flimsy pieces of paper.

With over 109 airports with GA operations in Georgia and over 10,300 AOPA members who fly and/or own GA aircraft in my state, I understand the importance of making GA pilot identification a secure procedure. I urge you to approve AOPA's requested change—it is a commonsense approach to addressing the security needs at our GA airports.

Most respectfully,

Max Cleland
United States Senator

March 13, 2002