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.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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