GA chief to leave TSA

May 10, 2011

Brian Delauter, who brought a pilot’s perspective to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Office of General Aviation, will leave his post as general manager for GA effective May 23, the agency confirmed May 10.

The TSA and GA pilots had been at odds over some of the agency’s GA security measures when Delauter took his current position in 2009; he used his knowledge of GA culture to inform policy decisions at the TSA and improve the agency’s strained relationship with GA. During his tenure, he oversaw efforts to rework the controversial Large Aircraft Security Program proposal and worked with AOPA and Customs and Border Protection to streamline the process for pilots flying internationally. Delauter has taken a position in the private sector.

“In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the choice of Brian Delauter—a pilot with a strong general aviation background—to run the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of General Aviation was an excellent decision,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “His leadership will be missed now that he has decided to return to the private sector, but we wish him great success in his new endeavor.”

Delauter shared on AOPA Live in March how he “caught the bug” for flying at age 16 after taking his first flight in a GA aircraft and went on to earn his pilot certificate, build time as a flight instructor, do some corporate flying, work for NetJets, and fly for Northwest Airlines.

His experience as a pilot helped him to understand and be responsive to the concerns of pilots: Aviation Week named him as a finalist for its 2011 Laureate Award for business and general aviation because he “alleviated a climate of distrust and contempt” in the agency’s relationship with GA. He told AOPA Live that he expects pilots to see the results of their comments in revisions to the Large Aircraft Security Program, which will be published as a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

The TSA has not yet announced who will succeed Delauter. “We are hopeful that Administrator [John] Pistole will build on the relationships Brian developed with the general aviation industry and pilots by finding a successor with a similarly strong GA background,” Fuller said.