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March 9, 2009
AOPA ePublishing staff
Bennie G. Thompson, representative for Mississippi and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
The Transportation Security Administration’s Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) is not suited to general aviation aircraft and should not go forward without industry input, said the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over the TSA.
In a March 2 letter to the TSA, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi called for the agency to delay implementation of the program and engage with Congress and industry stakeholders. Under LASP, commercial airline security procedures would be applied to aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds, regardless of how they are used.
Several critical elements in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the LASP “appear to be problematic, unfeasible, or overly burdensome to industry,” Thompson wrote. “The Committee is also concerned that the formulation of the NPRM was not based on a threat and risk methodology process tailored to the general aviation environment.”
The proposal would require crewmember criminal record checks, watch list matching of passenger manifests, biennial third party audits of each aircraft operator, and new airport security measures.
“Chairman Thompson understands the negative impact the LASP would have on general aviation,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “We hope the TSA will stop its plans for the program and address the grave concerns being expressed by the Committee on Homeland Security and so many others who have spoken out against LASP.”
Advocacy and Legislation,
Transportation Security Administration,
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
Senators are demanding a written response from the Department of Homeland Security about unwarranted stops of general aviation aircraft by DHS and Customs and Border Protection.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.