December 18, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
AOPA has requested that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) re-evaluate a recent security directive (SD) that could affect tens of thousands of general aviation pilots who are based at air carrier airports.
The directive expands the requirement for background checks and security badges to more pilots based at airports served by airlines. In 2009, pilots based at air carrier airports must undergo a background check and receive a security badge, if they haven’t done so already, in order to continue to have access to the airport. Transient pilots are unaffected by the directive. However, they will continue to be subject to the current escorting and monitoring requirements.
“Pilots have long operated without incident on these airports, and it is surprising that the TSA appears to have implemented such a significant new mandate with no notification or discussion,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “It will have a significant impact on pilots and airports in many small communities across the country.”
AOPA has expressed its concerns directly to the TSA.
“Based on information from a number of TSA-regulated airports, it is clear that compliance with this SD will necessitate the badging and performance of security threat assessment on tens of thousands of general aviation pilots who operate from these airports,” wrote Cebula in a Dec. 16 letter to the TSA. “While the TSA consulted with representatives from the airport industry prior to issuing the SD, no one from the general aviation community was contacted. This is unfortunate because we could have provided important insight into the effects of such action.”
The TSA is preventing AOPA from reviewing the entire SD, but information from airport managers indicate that it is inconsistent with other security requirements, such as those for security identification display areas at air carrier airports.
“I respectfully request that you re-examine this security directive and allow the general aviation industry to work with the TSA to develop acceptable alternatives that will not impose unreasonable burdens on airports or general aviation pilots,” Cebula concluded.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>