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TSA/FAA is developing a waiver processTSA/FAA is developing a waiver process

On September 10, 2002, the Office of Homeland Security implemented Threat Condition Orange (High Risk) across the United States imposing flight restrictions on some aircraft operators. These restrictions will remain in place until the threat condition is reduced. Once this occurs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to permit banner towers and blimp operators, operating under Federal Aviation Regulation Part 91, to apply for waivers permitting flights over stadiums and open-air assemblies.

The TSA/FAA is developing a waiver process and plans to issue those procedures the week of September 16. The draft plan as it stands now would require:

  • Pilots and required crewmembers be fingerprinted and to clear a background check. This check would include a criminal history records check by the FBI and the TSA Watch List.
  • Prints can be taken at a commercial service airport. A list of those airports will be provided later. We are currently working with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) to establish those procedures with the airports. The cost of the fingerprint will be borne by the pilot/crewmember and paid directly to the airport. The fee has not yet been determined. In addition, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and TSA have recently signed an agreement to permit NATA to take fingerprints at other than airport locations. A list of those locations will also be provided.
  • Background checks should not take more than five business days to complete, subject to interagency coordination, if the pilot/crewmember has no criminal record.
  • Once the pilot has completed the vetting process, he/she will be issued a personal identification number (PIN) by the TSA.
  • Pilots with PINs can apply for a waiver. A new waiver form is in development and must include the names of each person(s) on board, SSNs, and date of birth.

TSA will conduct a public listening session on Wednesday, September 18, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The session will enable aircraft operators and other interested parties to address their concerns to the TSA.

The session will take place at the General Services Administration Auditorium, which is located at 7th and D Streets, SW, Washington, D.C. The auditorium (Room 1041) is located immediately behind the Security Desk at the D Street Visitors' Entrance.

Michael D. Robinson
Associate Under Secretary
Aviation Operations
Transportation Security Administration

September 13, 2002

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