DHS Report: No Need for TSA to Regulate GA Security

 - June 18, 2009, 11:39 AM

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released a report on “TSA’s Role in General Aviation Security” that concludes: “We determined that general aviation presents only limited and mostly hypothetical threats to security.” The report notes that while the TSA’s Office of Intelligence (OI) “has identified several organizations that have shown an interest in using GA to obtain flight training or to launch attacks…it has concluded that most GA aircraft are too light to inflict significant damage, and has not identified specific imminent threats from GA aircraft. OI has also concluded that there is no credible threat of crop-dusting aircraft being used to spread chemical or biological agents. OI also stated that the potential for a terrorist group to use GA aircraft to conduct an attack remains a possibility that cannot be ignored.” The report found that of incidents reported to the GA hotline, “incidents that might represent a security threat are rare.” Although the TSA seems bent on regulating general aviation, the report concludes that “The current status of GA operations does not present a serious homeland security vulnerability requiring TSA to increase regulatory oversight of the industry. According to OI, there is no specific, credible information of ongoing plots to use GA in an attack in the near future.”