The Transportation Security Administration’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) is a threat to American citizens’ rights of privacy and freedom of travel. It is an unreasonably expansive and intrusive response to an undocumented and unproven security threat. The LASP could force one quarter of the reliever airports in the United States to ban aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds. And the TSA has underestimated the cost of the program to citizens and businesses by a factor of six; LASP could cost the general aviation community some $1.2 billion a year.
Those are just some of the onerous conclusions AOPA reached in its detailed analysis of the LASP notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and detailed in some 48 pages of comments to the Department of Transportation this week.
“Other than user fees, no other issue has concerned our members as much as the unnecessary intrusion of security regulations into their private affairs,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. “Even if the LASP doesn’t affect them now, they are concerned that regulations will eventually apply to the aircraft they fly.
“The TSA hasn’t completed its homework,” Cebula said. “There are too many gaps in the information regarding the effect of this program on general aviation,” said Cebula. He called on the TSA to institute a negotiated rulemaking process, allowing all of the aviation segments that are affected, or could be affected, by this rule to work with the agency to address the numerous areas of concern.
“This NPRM does not provide confidence that the proposed regulations would provide substantial security improvements that justify the potential financial burden and the intrusion on individual rights,” said Cebula.