The Transportation Security Administration wants to impose new security regulations that would treat larger general aviation aircraft just like commercial aviation aircraft, and AOPA members are urged to file comments telling the TSA how the rules would affect them.
The proposed Large Aircraft Security Program, or LASP, would impose a whole range of expensive and burdensome requirements on Part 91 operators of aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs. Those requirements include criminal history record checks for crew members, matching passengers to TSA watch and no-fly lists, checking passengers and baggage for dangerous weapons or prohibited items, and paying for biennial third-party audits. That last item amounts to outsourcing security oversight, an inherently governmental function.
“These unprecedented measures represent a serious infringement on the privacy rights of GA owners and operators, and they do nothing to account for the inherent differences between private GA operations and commercial air travel,” said AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula. “We’re also concerned that the regulations could easily be expanded to include all aircraft, regardless of size or type of operation, because the TSA hasn’t said anything to justify the 12,500-lb limit.”
All affected AOPA members are urged to file written comments with TSA. AOPA’s LASP online member action center offers an overview of the issue and step-by-step instructions for writing and filing comments.
At AOPA’s request, the TSA also has agreed to hold public meetings on LASP. Members who are able are encouraged to attend the meeting closest to them. AOPA representatives also will attend all meetings. Registration for each meeting will begin at 8 a.m., with the meetings beginning at 9 a.m. The meetings are scheduled for Jan. 6 at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y.; Jan. 8 at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel Atlanta Airport in Atlanta, Ga.; Jan. 16 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel and Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.; Jan. 23 at the Burbank Airport Marriot Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, Calif.; and Jan. 28 at the Hilton Houston Hotel-North Greenspoint Conference Center in Houston, Texas.