TSA Backtracks on Some Airport Badging

 - June 2, 2009, 11:34 AM

Following growing objections from the general aviation community, the Transportation Security Administration relaxed some security restrictions that went into effect yesterday for transient pilots flying into commercial-service airports. Late last week, the TSA said transient pilots who fly into commercial-service airports no longer need to get an airport badge or background check. However, they are advised to remain in the footprint of their aircraft, leaving it only to walk to and from the FBO, service provider or airport exit. The TSA has also said that it will make provisions for self-fueling operations and grant allowances for emergency situations. Pilots who are based at commercial-service airports will still need to get a badge to have unescorted access to the airport. GA groups are supporting a measure in Congress that would require the TSA to secure the aircraft operating area of commercial airports by issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking instead of taking unilateral action through a security directive.