Like many a “Washington hand” leaving a position, the Air Transport Association’s Carol Hallett was more forthcoming in her comments to the Washington Aero Club than she might have been in the past.
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.
Aviation Technologies has created what it believes is a solution to the time-consuming process of checking air passenger and employee names against Transportation Security Administration (TSA) “no-fly” and “selectee no-fly cleared” and “selectee cleared” watch-lists. Those lists now total more than 120,000 people, most of whom are barred from flying or for whom additional security measures are necessary.
Most pilots by now have heard about the plan to end satellite monitoring of emergency locator transmitter (ELT) distress signals broadcast over 121.5- and 243-MHz frequencies after Feb. 1, 2009. But many might not realize there is no specific regulation in the U.S. requiring ELT upgrades to the new 406-MHz standard being adopted in much of the rest of the world.
Homeland security experts are considering new measures to tighten security for general aviation operators as part of an ongoing attempt to prepare for unknown threats, according to Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“The nightmare scenario that we talk about is the possibility of a weapon of mass destruction being detonated in a city,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said at yesterday’s NATA Aviation Business Roundtable in Washington, D.C. “It’s obvious that general aviation is another place we have to look.
Many operators are installing 406-MHz emergency locator transmitters in place of the 121.5-MHz units as the January 1 deadline approaches on a new regulation (FAR 91.207) that requires all U.S.-registered jets with maximum payloads of less than 18,000 pounds–virtually all business jets except business jetliners–to be equipped with an ELT.
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.
BELL B206L-3, WHITERIVER, ARIZ., JULY 26, 2003–At 10:34 a.m. MST Bell Long-Ranger N6184D, operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) at Fort Apache Indian Reservation under Part 91, was destroyed after crashing near Whiteriver. The commercial pilot and one passenger died in the crash and two passengers were seriously injured.
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.