January 14, 2010
By AOPA ePublishing staff
The Transportation Security Administration this week distributed airport vulnerability assessments to 3,000 general aviation airports nationwide, focusing on those facilities with a runway of at least 2,000 feet and those near major metropolitan or prohibited areas.
The survey stems from a congressional mandate, the 9/11 Commission Recommendation Act of 2007, and is not based on any “specific, credible information to suggest an imminent threat to the homeland or general aviation,” according to the TSA.
“AOPA expressed concerns to the TSA early in the process of the need for the information collected by the TSA to remain confidential and not be used against an airport,” said Brittney Miculka, AOPA manager of security. “AOPA supports dedicated funding for those airports choosing to make their facilities more secure but remains strongly opposed to the mandatory requirements being unilaterally imposed.”
Airport managers have 60 days to complete the survey, and the results will be made available to participating airports approximately 30 days after the survey’s closing period.
The survey is intended to help TSA stakeholders and planners assess security needs and vulnerabilities and provide funding to improve security.
“Minor security breaches such as vandalism or theft at GA airports can have a negative public view of the security at our airports,” according to the TSA, which added that it “has a responsibility to display our best effort in keeping the public safe, aircraft secured, and our operations protected by providing security to our GA airports via the most efficient means possible.”
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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