While the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reviews a draft update of general aviation airport security guidelines, the agency is also running a series of exercises to bolster communications among airports, the local community and operators during times of increased security threats.
Aftermath of the September 11 attacks
Airport perimeters are the weak links in the nation’s aviation security efforts, warns former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, now a vice chairman with Hill & Knowlton Strategies.
The ease with which anyone can penetrate an airport perimeter may shock those familiar with today’s elaborate security inside terminals, Mineta wrote recently in an op-ed article for The Washington Post. In Philadelphia last year, a driver crashed through a gate and onto a runway. There were similar “near-catastrophes” in Miami and Dallas, he said.
Flight crew unions have opposed last week’s policy change by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) that will allow some knives in U.S. airliner cabins. Under its revised prohibited items list effective April 25, TSA will begin allowing knives with blades up to 2.36 inches in length and 0.5 inches in width to be carried aboard, as well as some wooden and metal clubs, all of which have been prohibited since the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has changed the rules and as of April 25 will allow small blades and sports implements such as golf clubs and lacrosse sticks to be carried on board by airline passengers. The rules would allow passengers to carry knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches and narrower than half an inch, as long as they don’t have lockable blades. The existing rules prohibit most sharp objects, with the exception of scissors that are four or fewer inches in length, and also sports equipment. The TSA wants the rule change to harmonize U.S. security practices with those of other countries, which would make security screening more efficient. I’m not so sure about that.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have released details of the cuts they will make if mandated budget reductions from “sequestration” take effect March 1. The likelihood of Congress acting to prevent sequestration appeared to be dimming last week.
A working group that counted 16 representatives from general aviation organizations, including NBAA, submitted a list of proposed revisions late last week to the Transportation Security Administration’s security guidance for GA airports. The document, originally published by the agency in 2004, contains voluntary guidelines and recommendations for GA airport owners, operators and users to address aviation security concepts, technology and enhancements.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) has launched a new survey to measure the impact of the ban on new foreign repair station certificates. The ban is the result of the U.S. Congress prohibiting the FAA from acting on foreign repair station certificate applications submitted after Aug. 3, 2008, because the Transportation Security Administration had not finalized repair station security rules.
The House of Representatives passed the “Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2013” last month, requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to permanently establish an Aviation Security Advisory Committee (Asac), a government/industry group that collaborates on security policies.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) executives said they will use new approaches to increase enrollment in “Pre-Check,” a program that pre-screens airline passengers for security risks and helps smooth the flow of people through airport security lines. Airport executives complain the program has gone underused.
In an industry still digging its way out of a disastrous recession, even bad news can be good news and the latest bad news from a poll taken by Frequent Business Traveler magazine (www.frequentbusinesstraveler.com) amounts to good news for business and private aviation.