January 20, 2010
By Sarah Brown
The Obama administration’s nominee for the top spot at the Transportation Security Administration withdrew his name from consideration Jan. 20 after his nomination stalled in the Senate.
Erroll G. Southers, the assistant chief for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department’s office of homeland security and intelligence, faced strong opposition to his nomination to oversee the TSA as assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security. The head of the TSA determines the agency’s approach to security issues, including general aviation security; the position remains unfilled.
Opponents to Southers’ nomination cited concerns about his views on collective bargaining rights, and about an incident two decades ago when he inappropriately used his position at the FBI to run a background check on the boyfriend of his estranged wife. In a statement released by the White House, Southers said his nomination had become a political lightning rod and was “obstructed by political ideology.” The White House must now nominate a new head for the TSA, which continues under the temporary leadership of acting administrator Gale Rossides.
“AOPA continues to support commonsense enhancements to general aviation security that have real and positive effects on national security while imposing the least possible burden on general aviation pilots,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “The association has a strong working relationship with the Transportation Security Administration at the operational level, and looks forward to developing a similar relationship with the new administrator once that person is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.”
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has awarded its third annual Flight Training Excellence Awards to top flight schools and flight instructors ranked by more than 3,600 flight students who voluntarily reviewed their flight training experience through an AOPA online poll.
For decades, pilots have headed to Bay Bridge Airport in the Chesapeake Bay for scenic coastal flying and great seafood. Check it out after attending the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.
Maintenance experts have asked the FAA to clarify whether recurring inspections of Cessna 210-series aircraft can be mandated without following required rulemaking procedures.
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