On Wednesday the General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper unmanned attack vehicle dropped its first precision-guided bombs in anger, not long after the combat debut of the MQ-9/Hellfire combination.
While AOPA seeks an extension on the comment period for new security rules for private aircraft arriving and departing the U.S., NBAA released the “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Guide for Private Flyers” on its member Web site.
The Transportation Security Administration plans soon to release changes to the voluntary general aviation security guidelines, and is looking at ways to “positively identify” pilots before and in flight. To find out more about what the TSA is doing, and how it views GA security in general, AIN spoke with Michal Morgan, the TSA’s general manager for general aviation.
“After May 1 operators not meeting the full requirements of the [twelve-five and private charter security] rules will be considered to be in noncompliance,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a notice last month. The TSA delayed the April 1 enforcement date after it conceded that some operators were having undue difficulty meeting the fingerprint requirement of the criminal-history record checks for their flight crews.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport directors are being assigned to 450 of the busiest U.S. airports used by the airlines. These officials are responsible for TSA employees at those airports as well as for airport security provisions. Business aviation and other general aviation associations are encouraging their members to develop
a rapport with their TSA airport directors, so as to increase their understanding of
Security comes from a combination of policy, procedure and technology–nuts and bolts. All three have received their fair share of attention since September 11, but the demand for security hardware is the most tangible manifestation of how aviation has changed. Pre-existing examples of technology–from sophisticated electronic surveillance systems to simple wheel locks–have been improved.
• Is the hangar/FBO property fenced off from the street and from adjoining unsecured property?
All airport workers with access to airplanes and secure areas have been ordered to submit to new criminal background checks. Employers will also be asked to assist authorities in new criminal background checks of “flight-safety sensitive” personnel. The FAA is requiring the revalidation of all airport IDs to make sure they are current, genuine and correspond to the person carrying them.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is in the process of contacting air taxi operators regulated by the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) to conduct security inspections. TSA principal security inspectors (PSIs) will hold interviews with aircraft operator security coordinators and review the procedures employed to check passengers.
Business aviation may win a few more converts as a result of the most recent Transportation Security Administration (TSA) edict expanding the use of manual pat-down searches during “secondary” screening.