Airports Used by GA To See Growing TSA Scrutiny

 - March 17, 2009, 11:30 AM

The Transportation Security Administration is revising its “Operation Playbook” security program, which seeks to work with airline airports used by general aviation operators to develop a security protocol that keeps terrorists guessing at security tactics. The Playbook was introduced as a pilot program last year, but industry concerns about questionable TSA inspections at FBOs led to the TSA updating the program. According to NATA, “Some local TSA officials incorporated these security measures at FBOs without any advance notice.” Added NBAA, “TSA indicated that changes to the Playbook were under way, and the updated version being introduced by the agency should reflect the concerns we raised.” The TSA has placed a white paper about Operation Playbook online. Meanwhile, the TSA is expanding its scrutiny of general aviation with a request to the U.S. government’s Office of Management and Budget to conduct a threat and vulnerability assessment of 3,000 general aviation airports. This assessment will ask each airport to submit its own evaluation to the TSA. “Congress, through the 9/11 Commission Recommendation Act of 2007, required TSA to develop and implement a standardized threat and vulnerability assessment for GA airports,” said a TSA spokesman. “The assessment could lead to grants or other means of funding to improve security.”