Members of Congress, led by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), have warned the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to reconsider the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) or face possible legal challenges and “congressional obstacles” to implementation.
In comments submitted Feb. 27, a group of seven members of Congress from four states chided the TSA for using inaccurate estimates of the direct and indirect costs of the LASP proposal and failing to allow adequate public input on the plan. The detailed comments also noted that the TSA had failed to demonstrate that the security benefits of implementing the program would exceed the costs. The LASP plan would essentially apply commercial air carrier security measures to general aviation aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds, regardless of how they are used. The proposal would require crewmember criminal record checks, watch list matching of passenger manifests, biennial third party audits of each aircraft operator, and new airport security measures.
The TSA has identified 315 airports that would be affected by the new security program, including Wittman Regional (OSH) in Wisconsin, home of the EAA’s annual AirVenture Oshkosh. Lawmakers noted that required security measures might “…reduce the attractiveness of the event, and the food and lodging businesses in the area will find it hard to replace the lost business.” AirVenture is not alone. More than 325 other airshows and upwards of 10 million spectators would also be impacted.
AOPA has vigorously protested the proposal, sending representatives to testify at each of the public hearings on the plan, calling on members to contact their legislators to express their opposition, and submitting formal comments of its own.
Sam Graves (R-Mo.)
Nathan Deal (R-Ga.)
Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.)
John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.)
W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.)
Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.)