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Public meeting on TSA's Large Aircraft Security ProgramPublic meeting on TSA's Large Aircraft Security Program

In response to a request from AOPA, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be hosting a public hearing on Friday, Jan. 16, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. Please attend and make your voice heard! It is important that the TSA hears from pilots that its proposed Large Aircraft Security Program raises serious concerns across the general aviation community.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. with registration starting at 8 a.m. Participants who want to present an oral statement at the meeting must register in person between 8 and 9 a.m. on the day of the meeting and provide their name and affiliation. See the notice published in the Federal Register for additional information.

AOPA members have made it clear in response to a survey and in comments to the association that they are concerned by the attempt to make GA aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs. and flown under Part 91 comply with the same security requirements as commercial carriers. This proposal includes a number of concerning initiatives—flight crewmember criminal history record checks, watch list matching of passengers, checking passengers and baggage for dangerous weapons, and biennial third party audits of each aircraft operator.

In summary, the proposed rule represents an unprecedented intrusion on GA because it would apply commercial standards to GA operations. AOPA is concerned about the proposal because the TSA has provided no justification for setting the aircraft weight requirement at 12,500 pounds, and the association fears it could expand to all sizes of GA aircraft. Equally alarming is the requirement that aircraft operators use and pay for third-party auditors to perform a government function.

Each speaker will be allowed three minutes to explain to the TSA the impact of this rule. AOPA Vice President of Aviation Security Craig Spence will be attending the meeting and will be available to discuss this proposal with you.

If you cannot attend the meeting, it is still important that you make your voice heard by submitting written comments. For more information on the proposed rule or to find out how to submit your comments, visit the AOPA member action center.

Your voice can make a difference—show up and explain to the TSA just how the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program would impact your flying! Your fellow pilots are depending on your help!

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