General aviation interests are encouraged by the appointment of Michal Morgan as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) general manager for general aviation. She previously served as the manager of general aviation for the Office of Operations Policy and the director of special operations for the TSA.
Investigation continues into an explosive device found on April 7 in a men’s lavatory outside a secure area in the atrium at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to Air Security International, a bomb squad detonated the device. The FBI described the device as “similar to a military trip flare containing a highly flammable substance” capable of causing “very serious injury to anyone handling or tampering with it.”
The U.S. Senate has passed a legislation package addressing many of the 9/11 Commission’s aviation security recommendations that have not yet found their way into law. Notably, the proposed rules would give the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) one year to develop a threat assessment program for general aviation airports, as well as conduct a study on the feasibility of providing grants to these airports for security upgrades.
Federal guidelines for improving security at the nation’s more than 18,000 general aviation airports remain bottled up in the Transportation Security Administration almost six months after a GA airport security working group made its recommendations to the agency.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which has been closed to general aviation traffic since 9/11, will be the subject of a hearing by the House aviation subcommittee, probably sometime later this month.
President Bush Tuesday signed into law a homeland security spending bill that includes language directing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to work with industry to expand the transportation security administration access certificate (TSAAC), a voluntary general aviation security program.
Fear mongering has been a growth industry in the U.S. since 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. Sometimes our discomfort is an unspoken undercurrent; other times there is no subtlety as the forces of opportunism seek to gorge at a trough flash-flooded with public money.
“The job of a controller is no longer just separating airplanes,” National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr told attendees at a symposium on “Post 9/11 Security Impacts on Air Traffic Control and Aviation” in Washington, D.C., in late January. “They have to be aware of possibilities that we did not even contemplate on the morning of September 10.”
When the national threat level was raised to code orange (high) on December 21, most people in general aviation took it in stride. With New Year’s celebrations just days off, new TFRs were issued for New York City and Las Vegas, followed by one for downtown Chicago, and waivers were suspended for sports stadium overflights and the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone.
With passage of the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be required to check the names of potential air-charter customers against government terrorist watch lists if an operator requests it. The measure also mandates the issuance of photo pilot certificates that are resistant to tampering.