AOPA this week told Congress's investigative arm that general aviation is not a security threat. AOPA again offered to provide realistic solutions for aviation security concerns. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) is taking a look at how the newly created Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is working and asked AOPA to participate in a "roundtable discussion."
"General aviation is not the threat. The appropriate focus for aviation security is the commercial airlines," Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs, told GAO during the discussion. AOPA pointed out that the TSA needs to better understand the aviation community.
"The law enforcement background of many officials in TSA means they may not fully realize aviation's vital role in the long-term health of the nation's transportation system," Cebula said.
AOPA also said that TSA must better define what it is attempting to accomplish so the industry can assist in developing realistic recommendations in response to any security issues and concerns.
Finally, AOPA emphasized that TSA should respond to the numerous state initiatives for security that are federal responsibilities. "The lack of federal opposition to state pilot licensing and flight training background checks is creating a vacuum. The state initiatives are not appropriate."