South Carolina congressman seeks LASP alternatives

February 4, 2009

Large Aircraft Security ProposalRep. Bob Inglis, who represents South Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District, is asking the Department of Homeland Security to work with the aviation industry to find alternative ways to achieve the security goals set out in the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) proposal.

In a Jan. 29 letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, Inglis asked the agency to withdraw the proposed rule and work collaboratively with the aviation industry to find “more efficient” means of achieving security goals. He also noted the aviation sector’s opposition to certain elements of the program, including the decision to set the minimum weight requirement at 12,500 pounds.

AOPA has put up stiff opposition to the LASP rule as it is now proposed. During a series of public hearings, speakers representing the association explained how LASP could cripple airports, close aviation businesses, cost jobs, and damage the overall health of the economy in communities nationwide.

As written, LASP would essentially apply commercial air carrier security measures to all GA aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds, regardless of how those aircraft are used. Among the requirements would be crewmember criminal record checks, watch-list matching of passenger manifests, biennial third party audits of each aircraft operator, and new airport security requirements. AOPA has vigorously argued that the one-size-fits-all approach makes no sense for GA and imposes untenable burdens on operators.

Pilots who believe LASP will negatively impact their flight operations are urged to file written comments with the TSA. The comment deadline is Feb. 27. Details about how to file as well as more information about the LASP proposal are available online.