General aviation works hard to enhance aviation security but has little voice in policy decisions that affect GA pilots, AOPA said in a response to a Transportation Security Administration survey.
Only about 400 large airports with commercial service of 20,000 airports are TSA-regulated for security procedures. At those airports, impediments to GA access to air operations areas and aircraft parking can be significant, AOPA said in a letter responding to a recent TSA policy feedback survey.
“We strongly believe that there should be a formal process where the industry and operators can provide input to minimize negative impacts,” she wrote.
AOPA’s survey response also pointed out to security officials that GA pilots are responsible for their passengers’ safety and security, and because pilots hold FAA pilot certificates, they are in effect “vetted by the TSA on a daily basis.”
Rather than subject GA pilots to the same security constraints as airport employees or passengers, AOPA advocates for a risk-based approach.
AOPA also cited the association’s long record of working to maintain and improve airport security including:
AOPA urged the TSA to consider ways to solicit ideas from aircraft operators and “conduct impact assessments when developing new security policies and procedures.”