Charlie LeBlanc, vice president of Security Services for FrontierMedex and also a founding member of the NBAA Security Council and currently its vice chair sat with AIN during NBAA 2013 to talk about the problems with business aviation flight operations out of Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport (DCA). The NBAA Security Council was created to maintain and protect airspace and airport access in today’s environment of heightened security. LeBlanc wanted to talk about what the Security Council is doing to try and mitigate the longstanding issues that have driven business aviation traffic away from DCA.
“One of my missions on the council is to work with TSA on the [Armed Security Officer] issues into DCA,” he explained. “What is frustrating is that just when we get traction with TSA the staff and leadership changes. We end up almost starting all over again. There have been good talks on the Armed Security Officer program—we’ve made more traction with TSA than with the Secret Service.” LeBlanc went on to explain that the issue, as he sees it, is that the needs of general aviation at DCA are more pragmatic than what TSA and Secret Service can fathom.
“At least now we’ve got data that shows them that we don’t need ASOs on Part 91 aircraft,” he said. “We’ve offered a myriad of different solutions to the problem. And hopefully they will listen when we show them with data, and tell them that our Part 91 operators going into DCA are not a threat to national security. One of our goals is to get us back up to pre-9/11 traffic, pre-9/11 standards, without compromising national security at all.”