If you’re not the type to fret over conspiracies about black helicopters and shadowy figures in trench coats, you might want to inject a little paranoia into your life. Industrial espionage is a serious threat, warn security experts, but the perpetrators probably are not who you’d expect.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) boss Kip Hawley told a Senate panel that in addition to general aviation’s voluntary efforts to secure GA, the TSA was doing more screening of pilots and studying the “throw weight” of GA aircraft to determine the potential for causing harm. Currently, aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or more used in scheduled or charter service must operate under the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program.
Congress granted an additional 30 days (to April 1) for federal security agencies to submit a report on actions that would be required to open Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to general aviation. The report was supposed to have been completed by March 1.
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.
An FBI/Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that made only a few passing references to general aviation aircraft being used by terrorists nevertheless provided fodder for newspapers and broadcast news media for several days last month and prompted general aviation interest groups to activate extensive damage control.
With passage of the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be required to check the names of potential air-charter customers against government terrorist watch lists if an operator requests it. The measure also mandates the issuance of photo pilot certificates that are resistant to tampering.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has released a revised Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP), effective March 12. According to the National Air Transportation Association, the agency accepted “very few” of the recommendations made by the industry and said it is “disappointed with the TSA’s failure to correct serious concerns with the TFSSP.”
In a November 22 letter to the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the Transportation Security Administration said it has “begun the process of developing and instituting a security oversight and monitoring program for fractional ownership aircraft.
“Our competitors make the bottle, but we make the wine that is inside” is how Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems Division President Mike Keebaugh described the products and services that his firm provides to the U.S. defense market. “Despite the fact that we do not make any platforms–just what goes inside of them–we are the number- four aerospace firm in the U.S.”
A number of multirole airborne systems for earth remote sensing (ERS) have been developed by Irkut to equip both unmanned and optionally piloted aerial vehicles. The systems are the result of research and development carried out by the company and its partners since 1999 for the systems detection and monitoring of emergencies. Tasks envisioned include the search for survivors and provision of information to rapid response agencies.