LASP Gets Cool Reception at Town Hall Meeting

 - January 6, 2009, 11:37 AM

The first of the Transportation Security Administration’s series of town hall meetings, held today at New York’s Westchester County Airport, drew an overflow crowd of approximately 250 business aircraft operators and other interested parties eager to speak their minds about the agency’s initial Large Aircraft Security Program. NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen reiterated the willingness of business aviation to “work with the TSA to harden our industry against attack…Achieving this will require a thoughtful and tailored approach that we don’t see in the proposed rule.” Many subsequent industry speakers supported Bolen’s call for the establishment of an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to help shape the proposal into a workable regulation. Erik Jensen, acting general manager of the TSA’s general aviation division, led the contingent of five agency staffers on the platform. Jensen said the TSA’s goal is “workable security” and that, along those lines, it is looking at the possibility of permitting a standard master passenger list for corporate and private operators rather than have each flight’s manifest vetted by a third-party auditor. Speakers’ input on the LASP was unanimous: unworkable, overreaching, unnecessary and intrusive. Comments to the docket must be submitted by February 27. Four more public hearings on LASP will be held this month, with the next scheduled for Thursday in Atlanta.