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.”
General Aviation Statistics,
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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