July 2, 2013
By Jim Moore
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.”
Advocacy and Legislation,
Pilot Gear and Services
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.