A highly influential member of Congress has added his support for AOPA's pilot ID proposal. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House transportation appropriations subcommittee, told FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, " I support AOPA's petition, and urge prompt action by the FAA."
"Rep. Rogers' support is extremely important because he controls the purse strings," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "Federal agencies tend to pay very close attention to the members of Congress that control their budgets."
Rep. Rogers told Garvey, "[AOPA's proposal] is an inexpensive and simple security enhancement that can be implemented immediately.... I urge you to approve AOPA's requested change—it is a commonsense approach to addressing the security needs at our GA airports."
Chairman Rogers joins senators Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) in endorsing the AOPA proposal, as has the Transportation Security Administration. The FAA responded to Senator Smith in June that the agency was drafting a rule to implement the security measure described in the AOPA petition. The agency has not yet issued the rule or a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
In February, AOPA filed a petition with the FAA requesting an immediate change in the rules to require pilots to carry a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license) when flying. The proposal was made in response to national security concerns that the FAA pilot certificate (which does not have a photo on it) did not adequately identify pilots.