MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
January 22, 2003
The U.S. Senate this afternoon confirmed White House Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge to serve as the first head of the newly created Cabinet-level Homeland Security Department. The vote was 94-0.
The most immediate effect of his confirmation on general aviation is that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will soon move out of the Department of Transportation and into the non-transportation-oriented Homeland Security Department.
"Over the past year, AOPA has developed good working relationships with Governor Ridge and with Admiral [James] Loy, who heads the TSA, and we hope they will continue," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But one of our most important tasks during this time of transition will be to make sure that the new agency doesn't lose sight of its transportation responsibilities as it works to improve security."
AOPA also has a working relationship with Asa Hutchinson, whom President Bush has nominated to serve as the under secretary of Border and Transportation Security, from his days in Congress on the House aviation subcommittee. In his new role, Hutchinson would oversee the TSA.
Advocacy and Legislation,
Department of Transportation,
Transportation Security Administration
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
Senators are demanding a written response from the Department of Homeland Security about unwarranted stops of general aviation aircraft by DHS and Customs and Border Protection.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.