July 15, 2010
By AOPA ePublishing staff
A roundtable discussion of aviation security July 13 brought representatives of general aviation and the airlines together with top officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Newly appointed TSA head John Pistole met with the stakeholders just two weeks into his tenure as administrator. AOPA attended the roundtable and said the presence of both Pistole and CBP commissioner Alan Bersin--and their receptiveness to industry input--bodes well for progress on security issues affecting GA, such as the improvement of procedures for the CBP’s Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS).
“The heads of the TSA and CBP indicated that they are committed to communicating with stakeholders and each other about security measures that affect aviation,” said AOPA Vice President of Operations and International Affairs Craig Spence. “The CBP has been receptive to recommendations from GA about the implementation of eAPIS and about improving consistency of operations from the various ports across the United States.”Because the missions of the TSA and CBP overlap on issues related to transportation across the U.S. border, communication between the two agencies can eliminate redundancies. AOPA pointed out that the TSA’s international waiver process duplicates some of the information shared through the CBP’s eAPIS and will continue to discuss with the agencies how to improve the international travel procedures for GA operators.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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