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.
Federal Air Marshal Service
Aside from the cost of military actions against the terrorist factions following the September 11 attacks, the big question is, how the government is going to pay for everything else it wants to do.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expected to have rules drafted by the end of last month that would allow “qualified” GA operations back into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
It seems every aviation-related publication I have read for almost a year has included an article about last September’s tragic midair in Brazil. The event certainly warrants widespread attention. However, the discussion so far has not dug deeply enough into the larger issue of what happens to the flight crew in the event of an accident, especially in a country where an accident investigation is a criminal investigation.
The strict security requirements of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) just-released plan to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation in about 90 days might prove to be so expensive and complicated that some operators could be discouraged from using the airport. DCA has been closed to GA since 9/11.
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.
The idea of mixing legal weapons with pilots is not new. Aviators of yore often carried firearms–and with good reason. There are more recent incidents that support the practice. In the mid-1960s, an airliner was taken over by a man wielding a gun who shot both pilots. In another incident a disgruntled PSA employee broke into the cockpit of a BAe 146 in 1987 and shot and killed both pilots.
In what was hailed as a “giant first step” in reopening Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation, a Hawker 1000 operated by New World Jet for Jet Aviation landed at dawn on October 18 after flying to the nation’s capital from Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey.
Perhaps one of the least appreciated benefits of corporate aviation is that its pilots and their passengers don’t have to endure the security procedures of crowded airport terminals. But the security hassles at the airport are the least of the concerns afflicting the senior managers at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
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