Although the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is among the 22 separate government agencies that will become part of the new Department of Homeland Security, the TSA is expected to remain intact for at least two years.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said that he fully supports NBAA’s Transportation Security Administration Access Certificate (TSAAC) initiative, but the business aviation association remains frustrated by the TSA’s lack of progress in expanding the effort to increase the benefits of the TSAAC initiative.
Although the Transportation Security Administration’s general aviation airport security guidelines working group was unable to reach a consensus on how to categorize public- and private-use GA airports for security purposes, last month it urged the TSA not to “isolate” general aviation with more stringent security procedures than those being adopted as “best practices” by other modes of transportation such as maritime, rail or highways.
Homeland security experts are considering new measures to tighten security for general aviation operators as part of an ongoing attempt to prepare for unknown threats, according to Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“A troubling trend has developed that threatens to harm business aviation in unimaginable ways–complacency,” claims Aviation Security International. The Houston-based firm, which provides security information and training, said most flight departments fall “in the middle to low end” when it comes to aviation security. One of the weakest security links, according to ASI, is the FBO.
The Transportation Security Administration plans soon to release changes to the voluntary general aviation security guidelines, and is looking at ways to “positively identify” pilots before and in flight. To find out more about what the TSA is doing, and how it views GA security in general, AIN spoke with Michal Morgan, the TSA’s general manager for general aviation.
If business aviation has been sideswiped by the economic mal-aise, it would have been difficult to find evidence of any damage at NBAA’s 14th Annual Schedulers
& Dispatchers Conference. This year’s venue was Anaheim, Calif., home of Disneyland.
General aviation interests expressed consternation over a May 1 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory warning the GA community against planned Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks using “light aircraft,” issued even as new TFRs covering a peripatetic President Bush continue to disrupt day-to-day operations.
The House subcommittee on aviation late last month signed off on the Aviation Security Technical Corrections and Improvement Act, legislation that would restore “nonscheduled commercial flights” to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The act would require operators to have a security program.
Still unable to comprehend the monstrous scale of the September 11 terrorist assault on the U.S., the international air transport industry got a swift taste of the disruption and chronic uncertainty that undoubtedly lie ahead. Business aviation–which some are now saying will become increasingly important as companies look for a safe and convenient alternative to airline travel–faced serious restrictions in the week following the attack.