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March 17, 2009
By Sarah Brown
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has introduced its general aviation liaison, Juan Barnes, who fills a new position dedicated to addressing concerns over recent security measures.
AOPA has been urging the agency to interface with pilots and operators in order to better understand how its policies affect the GA community; now GA stakeholders can address questions to Barnes, the new line of communication to the TSA’s Office of General Aviation. Questions may be submitted to Barnes via the e-mail address TSAGeneralAviation@dhs.gov. AOPA will automatically be carbon copied in this email.
“General aviation stakeholders are encouraged to submit inquiries regarding TSA programs, policies and security directives,” wrote Barnes in a letter to GA stakeholders. “Your inquiry will be reviewed, and forwarded to the appropriate office and personnel within TSA to ensure a prompt and accurate response. Our goal is to provide responses to inquiries within 2 business days.”
The TSA also will address concerns in monthly teleconferences with stakeholders beginning Wednesday, March 25, at 1 p.m. AOPA will participate in the teleconferences, during which the TSA will answer questions submitted previously by e-mail.
“AOPA has long been working to bring member concerns to the attention of the TSA,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of aviation security. “With this new avenue of communication, we can bypass some of the roadblocks that have been there in the past and help the TSA understand more clearly the heavy toll some of its proposals could take on GA.”
Several recent TSA initiatives—including the Large Aircraft Security Program, a security directive that would require additional screenings for GA 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. The new liaison is intended to address concerns and to close the information gap between the TSA and those affected by its policies.
Transportation Security Administration,
Advocacy and Legislation,
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.