An article in The Atlantic magazine alleging that general aviation security is lax to nonexistent prompted an outcry from GA organizations last month.
In the past month the nation and the aviation industry have successfully navigated the first-year anniversary of September 11, the first Code Orange alert (one tier below the highest level) and additional TFRs (around the three crash sites) that actually proved to be “temporary.”
One year after September 11, corporate aviation is still seeking assurances that its business aircraft will be able to operate on par with the commercial airlines in the event there is a future shutdown of parts or all of the National Airspace System.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will remain off-limits to all forms of general aviation for the foreseeable future. This despite massive lobbying efforts by the General Aviation Coalition and others. A government plan to reopen DCA to some GA operators had reportedly incorporated elements of the NBAA’s proposed security letter of authorization (SLOA).
Suggesting that many of the new aviation rules issued in the name of security may be unconstitutional, National Air Transportation Association president Jim Coyne recently called on the industry to play “hardball” over some of the more onerous restrictions, including the lack of access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
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 108th Congress became history at the end of last year and its pending legislation died on the vine. Legislators in the 109th Congress, which was due to convene after the January 20 presidential inauguration, may consider which of the dead bills merit reconsideration and reintroduction. Legislator benefit by way of pleasing constituents comes first, and doing what is best for the country has a somewhat lower priority.
Adm. James Loy, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has been promoted to second-in-command at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was selected over other higher-ranking officials in the Cabinet department.
David Stone, formerly deputy chief of staff at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and security director for Los Angeles International Airport, has been named to serve as acting TSA Administrator. Before joining the TSA, he was an admiral in the U.S. Navy, where his last assignment was in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as the director of environmental protection safety and occupational health.
Retired Navy Rear Admiral David Stone, who earned high praise from general aviation groups as head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is departing the agency next month after little more than a year in the top job. He is the third administrator to leave the TSA in its three-year existence.