Leaders of aviation trade associations recently said that Security Directive 8F (SD-08F) could adversely affect GA operators and limit GA pilots’ access to aircraft and certain airports. The TSA should withdraw the directive and initiate the appropriate rulemaking process for a change of that scope, the groups said.
Effective June 1, SD-08F requires pilots to undergo a security threat assessment and receive a security badge to continue to have unescorted access to air carrier airports. The badge requirements could impose an administrative burden on GA operations because GA flights often occur when airport staff are unavailable to act as escorts.
Because the security directive is classified as “sensitive security information,” many of its requirements become unexplained mandates to pilots at their airports. The directive never underwent a public comment period, when industry experts, affected parties, and concerned citizens could have alerted the TSA of the measures’ potential consequences.
AOPA has urged the TSA to accept industry input since the directive was released in December 2008. In response, the TSA earlier this year postponed the SD-08F compliance deadline to June 1 and said that it would address industry concerns. The association continues to work with the TSA to mitigate the impact SD-08F could have on pilots and will inform members of the latest developments.