AOPA is continuing to push the government to act on the association's simple, inexpensive proposal to improve general aviation security. Yesterday, AOPA staff met with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) officials to urge action on the association's petition for an FAA rule requiring pilots to carry government-approved photo identification when flying. AOPA pressed for a "direct final rule" on the petition (which was filed with the FAA in February) as an immediate solution to enhance aviation security.
The FAA already requires driver's licenses (or other official government ID) for security identification, and most pilots need a license to drive to the airport.
At the meeting, AOPA cited strong support from Congress and the FAA for the proposal. AOPA told OMB that the FAA has accepted the petition as "a positive short-term measure to enhance security throughout the general aviation community."
In Congress, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Hal Rodgers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Transportation Appropriations subcommittee, and Senators Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) have all supported the AOPA petition.
"We told OMB that it is time to act and get our pilot ID petition out as a final rule," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "The ID requirement is a proactive step taken by AOPA, and it should be implemented as soon as possible."
OMB is responsible for determining the cost and benefit of proposed regulations and is the final step in the rulemaking process.