Coast Guard Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger has been confirmed as the new head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Neffenger, who has served as Vice Commandant for the Coast Guard since May 2014, was confirmed June 22 in an 81-to-1 Senate vote.
“We look forward to working with Administrator Neffenger to ensure that we strike the right balance between security and freedom of movement for general aviation,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “His experience in using a risk-based approach to managing the security of our waterways will be an asset as he takes on the task of overseeing security for all modes of transportation.”
The TSA administrator sets the strategy for security across all civilian modes of transportation, including general aviation. But the new administrator is unlikely to immediately turn his attention to GA. The TSA is once again under fire for security lapses at commercial airports. In recent weeks revelations that some TSA employees were hired despite alleged ties to terrorist groups along with the failure to detect simulated explosives and other weapons during tests have raised questions about the agency’s hiring practices, training, and equipment.