May 13, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
AOPA is working to help certificated flight instructors in the Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C., area determine how to respond to a “voluntary outreach” letter they may have received from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
AOPA Manager of Aviation Security Tom Zecha requested clarification from TSA officials on the intent of the April 26 letter to CFIs from the TSA’s Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport office. The letter reminded active flight instructors of their obligation to comply with training requirements of Part 1552 of the transportation security regulations. Inactive instructors could disregard the letter, it said.
“This is a voluntary outreach. Although instructors are responsible for completing their security awareness training, they are not required to respond to the letter,” Zecha said.
A representative from TSA headquarters described the letter as an effort by the Baltimore office to make their area’s flight instructors aware of the need to comply with Part 1552 if they are actively instructing. Notification letters are sent out routinely every two years to promote awareness, the agency said.
The letter informed instructors that transportation security inspectors monitor their compliance, and requested that active instructors contact the Baltimore office “for more specific guidance.”
The TSA explained that if an instructor responds to the letter, the office would follow up to make the flight instructor aware of the security awareness training requirements, Zecha said.
“The TSA inspector should not be asking for detailed information, such as training records,” Zecha said.
AOPA makes resourses available for members who wish to review security awareness training requirements. If you have any questions contact AOPA.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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