AOPA members don’t mind letting Customs and Border Protection officials know when they are planning a border-crossing flight, but they need reasonable options in order to comply, AOPA Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Andy Cebula told Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
Cebula made his comment following Chertoff’s Nov. 17 speech on general aviation security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Cebula went on to ask Chertoff if the final Customs and Border Protection Advance Notification Rule, slated for publication the following day, had been changed from draft versions to reflect AOPA’s comments and its members’ concerns. Chertoff responded that he believed changes had been made.
AOPA will carefully analyze the final rule and work with Homeland Security officials to develop procedures that minimize the impact for GA pilots when the rule is fully implemented, likely in June 2009.
During his speech, Chertoff also praised the general aviation industry for taking the initiative to enhance security since Sept. 11, 2001. AOPA’s Airport Watch program, with its “Lock up, look out” message, has been widely implemented at general aviation airports nationwide.