AOPA's Bill Dunn leads the discussion at College Park Airport.
AOPA is continuing its efforts to restore GA access at airports in the D.C. area. Yesterday, senior AOPA management hosted a meeting at College Park Airport to discuss the status of the restrictions and met with senior Department of Transportation officials.
"AOPA has four vice presidents pushing on this issue, and we'll keep the pressure on FAA, TSA, DOT, and Congress," Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, told the College Park gathering. "But this has to be a partnership. You pilots must contact your representatives in Congress and let them know how these restrictions are affecting your personally."
Transient operations are still prohibited at College Park Airport, Washington Executive/Hyde Field, and Potomac Airfield, and no general aviation is allowed at Reagan National Airport. Based aircraft operations at College Park Airport, Washington Executive/Hyde Field, and Potomac Airfield were restored on February 14, but Hyde Field was closed again May 17 because of breaches of security procedures. The issues at Hyde Field are close to being resolved.
When based operations were permitted at the three airports, TSA said that the procedures would be reviewed after 60 days with the goal of expanding access to transient operations. That has not occurred. And while AOPA continues to push for that review, Department of Transportation officials indicate that there will be no changes in the near future.
Senior AOPA staff and other industry officials also met yesterday with Deputy Secretary of Transportation Michael Jackson to review plans for restoring general aviation access to Reagan National Airport. Jackson said that there are still security concerns about general aviation aircraft. Although there is general agreement on a plan to restore some GA operations at Reagan National, Jackson told AOPA that the Department of Transportation is delaying implementation while it continues to assess security requirements. Jackson committed to meeting with industry representatives in approximately 30 days to discuss the next steps.