An independent panel in Connecticut has determined that the state's general aviation airports are secure, that voluntary security measures are strong enough, and that the state doesn't need to take any additional regulatory steps.
In a report sent to Gov. M. Jodi Rell yesterday, the panel recommended that airports complete the TSA's "Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports," which AOPA helped develop, and that the state's Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security continue working with AOPA to promote the Airport Watch Program.
AOPA and the department last Friday sent a joint letter to every Connecticut pilot reminding them of the importance of Airport Watch.
The Connecticut Aviation Task Force spent the last three months investigating airport security, after an allegedly drunken student pilot and two teenage pals stole a Cessna 172 from Danbury Municipal airport (DXR) and landed several hours later on a closed taxiway at Westchester County (HPN) in White Plains, New York.
"It's an excellent document, and it covers all areas," Wayne Sandford, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and chairman of the task force, told the Greenwich Time newspaper. "We recommend that it be mailed to every airport in the state, and we are asking that they send it back to the task force."
The 18-member task force consisted of members of the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Danbury Police Department, TSA, state Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FAA, U.S. Attorney's Office, AOPA, and National Business Aviation Association.
September 14, 2005