For GA airports that are searching for ways to train employees, tenants and users about TSA security guidelines, an Edmonton, Canada company has released a new, online self-study course, “Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports.”
Aviation International News » May 2006
Some states have taken a hard line on GA airport security. For example, Alabama has made the TSA voluntary guidelines a state regulation because of an incident in which a drunken teenager stole an airplane, according to NASAO president Henry Ogrodzinski. Public airports that refuse to comply lose their state funding.
One of the flaws of the Airport Watch program, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), is that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between suspicious behavior and normal behavior. Observers’ trying to account for terrorists’ attempt to blend in could result in high false-alarm rates and racial and ethnic profiling, the CRS cautioned.
Even though a general aviation airplane has never been used for a known act of terrorism, securing general aviation airports against any such act continues to be a high priority throughout the nation.
While federal government agencies have decided that terrorists using a general aviation aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction is highly unlikely, the perception of a threat is forcing airports to take protective measures.
The popular but, some would say, odd pastime of planespotting has recruited new high-tech help, a “virtual radar” hooked to a personal computer that allows spotters to decode transponder signals and track aircraft in real time.
Pratt & Whitney took the aviation world by surprise when it announced in February the launch of a new division to manufacture PMA replacement parts for CFM56-3 engines. The CFM56, one of the most popular turbofans, is made by CFM International, a joint venture between France’s Snecma and General Electric.
Mexico has been good to Gulfstream. That is one of the main reasons Roger Sperry, Gulfstream’s v-p of international sales, wouldn’t miss March’s Aero ’06 in Toluca, Mexico. “We have 35 Gulfstreams in Mexico,” Sperry told AIN. “It’s the largest fleet of large-cabin aircraft in the country.”
UK operator Club328 has devised a new way to market charter flights through its new SkyBond program. Customers hand over £1 million ($1.75 million) to be put in an escrow-protected bank account in Club328’s name for six years. Club328 gets the interest earned over this time and the customer gets 25 flight hours each year (150 hours total) in one of the company’s Raytheon Premier Is.
The spate of high-profile business aviation accidents a little more than a year ago, many of which were Part 135 flights, has prompted industry experts to search for a link that might prevent the same events from happening in the future. There has been little public outcry for more government oversight because most consumers of corporate and charter aviation believe it probably already exists.
According to a report by Air Security International, a DC-9 then registered to a U.S. company was detained April 10 after landing at Ciudad del Carmen International Airport in Mexico. Authorities found approximately 5.5 tons of cocaine packed in 128 suitcases on the DC-9, registration number N900SA (deregistered on April 13).