TSA: Expect Modified LASP ‘Sometime This Year’

 - June 10, 2010, 12:37 PM

Without revealing specifics, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assistant administrator John Sammon said on Tuesday at the National Air Transportation Association Air Charter Summit that his agency is hard at work on a rewrite of the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP). The TSA met with the general aviation community “about this time last year” to gather input for the new rule, he said. “The regulation is being written as we speak and hopefully we’ll get [a notice of proposed rulemaking] out on the street sometime this year. That’s our goal.” One of the major stumbling blocks is the size of the aircraft that would come under purview of the LASP. An initial LASP proposal that was eventually withdrawn after receiving near universal criticism set the threshold for “large aircraft” at an mtow over 12,500 pounds. In somewhat tongue-in-cheek banter between Sammon and NATA president Jim Coyne, the latter noted that the GA community wants the threshold at something less than one million pounds, to which Sammon retorted, “It won’t take off.” Later Coyne said, “Our goal, realistically, is 40,000 pounds; [TSA’s] goal is 30,000 pounds.” Meanwhile, today at the business aviation regional forum at Teterboro Airport, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen said he is “seeing a better level of understanding at the TSA” and expects the new LASP proposal to be out for comment late this year.