AOPA seeks more data on pilot detentions, inspections

July 2, 2013

Federal officials have yet to respond to AOPA’s demand for information (and explanations) regarding the increasingly frequent detention and search of law-abiding pilots by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection—well inside the national borders.

AOPA continues to gather new reports from pilots with experiences similar to those first reported by AOPA Online in May. AOPA Manager of Aviation Security Tom Zecha said the online survey need not be fully completed to be useful, though the more data supplied, the better.

Zecha said he has heard positive feedback from members who appreciate the handy kneeboard-formatted checklist with detailed recommendations on how to respond to ground inspection and search demands (other than routine ramp checks conducted by FAA staff). The checklist will be published as a tear-out insert in the August issue of AOPA Pilot.

AOPA has yet to receive a response to a June 19 letter to acting CBP Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski that noted the agency’s failure to respond to previous Freedom of Information requests within the time frame required by law, and gave the agency until July 20 to respond before the association pursues “other remedies.”

Jim Moore

Jim Moore | Online Associate Editor, AOPA

AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.