Prevent government regulation--lock up and look out

March 27, 2008

Prevent government regulation—lock up and look out

By AOPA ePublishing staff

State and local governments remain interested in security at GA airports, even though the federal government and the aviation community have taken comprehensive steps to ensure both the pilot population and aircraft are secure.

In Pennsylvania, the legislature is considering H.B.2292, a measure that would require two locks on all aircraft and institute criminal penalties for failing to use them.

On March 26, AOPA staffers traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., to urge lawmakers not to try to fix what isn’t broken. In meetings with legislators and their staffers, AOPA’s team of security and advocacy experts explained that most pilots already secure their aircraft, airplanes are rarely stolen, and general aviation is not considered a significant terrorism threat.

The meetings follow AOPA’s March 11 testimony opposing the bill before the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee. AOPA also has sent letters and asked members in the commonwealth to express their opposition.

“Members did a great job helping us counter this legislative mandate in Pennsylvania,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “AOPA is constantly on guard to protect members from unreasonable security requirements, but for the GA community to be successful, pilots need to take steps on their own. That means pilots need to continue to follow the Airport Watch message to lock your aircraft, and look out for anything suspicious at your airport.”

AOPA members reached out to their representatives with thoughtful explanations of why mandating such requirements is a bad idea; these comments make it clear as to where AOPA members stand on the issue.

“Imposing a two-lock requirement for general aviation aircraft is an unnecessary government intrusion and goes beyond the legitimate needs of general aviation security,” wrote one member, adding that AOPA and the Transportation Security Administration have partnered to protect GA aircraft and airports.

March 27, 2008