Seven years after 9/11, general aviation is still vulnerable to acts of terrorism because of inaction by the White House, according to a report prepared by the Democratic staffs of the House Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs Committees.
The Transportation Security Administration on Friday released two sets of voluntary general aviation security action items (SAI) for FBOs and aircraft operators. The guidance documents do not constitute regulatory requirements and are based on a previously issued TSA publication. The agency noted that most of the measures recommended in the SAIs were included in the TSA’s “Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports” dated May 2004.
With the end-of-summer political conventions set for Minneapolis and Denver, the FAA transferred the general aviation security program designed for access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to provide top cover for the Republican gathering.
The U.S. Navy is expected to issue a draft request for proposals this quarter for the EP-X intelligence-gathering aircraft, which will replace the EP-3 Aries. In a recent briefing, Boeing revealed that Raytheon was joining its team to bid the P-8 Poseidon for EP-X.
A story in Monday’s USA Today that reported the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is working on “a massive expansion” of aviation security rules has the general aviation community on edge. Aviation groups are concerned that new security regulations could severely restrict the convenience and utility of GA aircraft.
In testimony before Congress in June, Admiral James Loy, head of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), stated that 1,208 of the airport passenger security screeners employed by his agency had been recently dismissed after checks of their backgrounds revealed unsatisfactory personal histories, including major felonies.
Beginning on October 1, the passports of foreign nationals visiting the U.S. from France, Germany, Italy, the UK and 23 other countries must be computer readable or the passport holder must obtain a U.S. visa before entry. Visitors with neither a visa nor a computer-readable passport run the risk of being refused entry, at the discretion of the checkpoint official.
General aviation organizations have been working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this summer to develop security recommendations for GA airports of all sizes, and a report is expected to be issued near the end of this month.
In a demonstration of how congressional mandates force lawmakers to come to grips with reality, the process of granting Part 145 repair station certificates to companies outside the U.S. has ground to a halt. Last August, Congress passed the “9/11 Recommendation Implementation Act of 2007,” part of which mandated that the TSA create new security rules for foreign repair stations.
The Transportation Security Administration’s previously announced plans to require all operators of aircraft with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds to adhere to the TSA’s large aircraft security program is back at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.