The House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee offered AOPA's Airport Watch program the best possible endorsement you can get in Washington, D.C. - money. Last week, the committee told the Transportation Security Administration that it expects the TSA to "continue funding the toll free number (866/GA-SECURE) to reinforce security at the nation's 5,400 public-use general aviation airports."
More significantly, the committee recommended $275,000 for "additional promotion" of the Airport Watch program. That money will be used for another widespread distribution of AOPA's Airport Watch materials to the entire aviation community. "We thank committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) for recognizing Airport Watch's important contribution to aviation security," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs.
The Airport Watch endorsement was part of the $30.8 billion spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). AOPA created Airport Watch in early 2002 to improve general aviation security. The association convinced the federal government to provide the toll-free security hotline and created and funded pamphlets, videos, posters, and airport signs to accompany a massive pilot education campaign on airport security. AOPA also distributed the materials to the entire GA community.
May 12, 2005