September 1, 2002
The FAA has issued a set of recommendations to enhance security at flight schools and FBOs. The recommendations, which are designed to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to aircraft, were issued in response to the suicide crash of a 15-year-old in Tampa, Florida. Charles Bishop, who had been taking flying lessons at the nearby St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport, stole a Cessna 172 and flew it into a downtown bank building.
"Since the Tampa incident, AOPA has worked very closely with the FAA to craft practical suggestions that will enhance general aviation security without unreasonable restrictions," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "These suggestions can be implemented immediately. On Tuesday, I urged FAA Administrator Garvey to make them public as rapidly as possible."
Although the FAA recommendations are voluntary, many flight schools have already implemented the security controls.
The FAA's suggestions for security enhancements include:
The security recommendations parallel many of the suggestions that AOPA and other industry groups had made to the Transportation Security Administration last month.
AOPA and the Massachusetts Airport Management Association defeat an effort to cut $34 million from the Massachusetts transportation bond bill.
Members of the Mohawk Flying Club have access to upgraded aircraft and low flying costs.
The NTSB has organized a safety seminar May 10 to focus on aerodynamic stalls and loss of control, a leading cause of general aviation fatalities.
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