Before September 11, biometrics was just one of the hundreds of new high-tech buzzwords flooding into the English language, and one that was meaningless to most people in the aviation industry. But experts say that over the next 12 months, few of us will not have experienced, and benefited from, its effects.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)–with the assistance of the general aviation industry–is developing a Transportation Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Evaluation Tool that will allow general aviation airport operators to assess the vulnerability to terrorism of their individual facilities and respond accordingly.
A four-year, NASA-led project began last month to determine the requirements and procedures for safely integrating the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into the National Airspace System. First-year funding of about $8.4 million will be used primarily for detailed planning and validation of requirements for UAVs to fly above FL400, where many business jets operate.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last month issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would require more detailed information about arriving and departing private aircraft and the people on board within a time frame necessary to assess the risks that such flights could pose to national security.
Congress last week passed a far-reaching security bill that deals with both cargo and general aviation security, among other things. The bill, “Improving America’s Security Act of 2007,” marks a major change in how cargo will be screened.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends that airport and FBO operators read its new guidance document, “Enhanced Fuel Farm/Fuel Storage Facility Security Measures and Fuel Vehicle Access Procedures.” The two-page document is available on the National Air Transportation Association Web site (www.nata.aero).
As of June 23, air carriers have begun using unique carrier codes when electronically transmitting advance passenger information system data to Customs & Border Protection. The change is required by new Security Directives and Emergency Amendments that require carriers to electronically send a master crew list and crew manifest data to the TSA. NBAA’s online APIS submission service has been modified to require an APIS carrier code.
NBAA today unveiled some long-anticipated potential changes to GA security. New security measures could include required government approval for all flights on a flight-by-flight basis and freedom for the federal government to access internal documents and implement and modify operators’ security procedures.
According to the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), Reps. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the house subcommittee on aviation, sent a letter to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acting Administrator David Stone.
Even those business aviation operators who may never want to fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport should be able to take advantage of NBAA’s “secure access” program. That’s because gaining entry into DCA is but one facet of the still-developing proposal.