MEMBER ALERT: AOPA is closed today, Dec. 10, due to inclement weather and will reopen Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
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.”
Advocacy and Legislation,
Transportation Security Administration,
Department of Transportation
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.