March 12, 2009
By Sarah Brown
The Transportation Security Administration has responded to AOPA’s calls to listen to industry input and has established a stakeholder liaison position dedicated to addressing concerns over recent security measures.
Several recent TSA initiatives—including the Large Aircraft Security Program, a security directive that would require additional screenings for general aviation pilots at commercial airports, and a “playbook” of security procedures that was incorrectly applied to GA operations—have alarmed AOPA members by imposing heavy restrictions on GA. AOPA has been urging the agency to interface with pilots and operators in order to better understand how its policies affect the GA community.
“Establishing a dialogue with stakeholders is crucial,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of aviation security. “We’ve been frustrated about the lack of communication, and this is an important first step in opening the lines of communication so that the TSA can see the impact of its actions on general aviation.”
The TSA plans to provide an e-mail address for communication between the TSA and GA stakeholders, along with coordinated monthly telcons. In addition to providing the TSA with feedback, the liaison could help to lift the veil of secrecy that has hung over many of the TSA’s recent proposals and security measures.
Transportation Security Administration,
Advocacy and Legislation
The board of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority will wait 120 days before making a final decision to close Braden Airport, citing community concerns.
Sometimes in politics, the good news is that bad news won’t happen. Thanks to AOPA, antique aircraft collectors and aviation employers in Louisiana dodged legislative bullets that would have raised the costs of aircraft ownership or of doing business.
It’s a familiar refrain, an effort by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to close a valuable airport. AOPA is again speaking up.