With an effective deadline of June 1 looming, five trade associations sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to withdraw a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) directive that mandates identification badges to gain access to certain parts of airports that serve airlines–regardless of the number and frequency of flights.
A provision that would establish a general aviation working group to advise the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on GA security issues is contained in the TSA Authorization Act expected to pass the House of Representatives before it adjourns tomorrow. The working group will look at security issues for general aviation facilities, including GA aircraft and helicopter operations at general aviation and commercial service airports.
Customers who bring their Cessna Citation to Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas, for major maintenance or inspection events can now drop off their jet and fly home in a loaner airplane. Under Sierra’s Fly-Thru maintenance program, Citation operators will be supplied an equivalent airplane or Sierra’s Williams International-powered FJ44 Citation, providing an opportunity to see how the modified version flies.
In a survey of members who own or operate aircraft hangars, the National Air Transportation Association asked how new National Fire Protection Association 409 foam fire-suppression requirements would affect their businesses. According to NATA, “Forty-four percent of respondents claim that they have cancelled plans to build a hangar or have reduced hangar size because of the cost of compliance with NFPA 409.
Following bungled security inspections of general aviation facilities at Nashville International Airport and Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) significantly changed “Operation Playbook,” a controversial security program for GA introduced through a pilot program last year.
In an effort to cut down on the more than 2,000 false distress signals it receives each year from emergency locator transmitters (ELT) and emergency position indicating radio beacons, the Civil Air Patrol has launched its “Don’t Trash the Beacon” public awareness campaign. “The false-alarm rate is between 90- and 95-percent now,” said John Demarais, CAP’s deputy director for operations.
Era Systems last month announced it has been selected to provide an automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system to the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA). The JCAA will use the ADS-B network for operational testing in preparation for eventual nationwide, wide-area multilateration and ADS-B deployment.
The Transportation Security Administration is revising its “Operation Playbook” security program, which seeks to work with airline airports used by general aviation operators to develop a security protocol that keeps terrorists guessing at security tactics. The Playbook was introduced as a pilot program last year, but industry concerns about questionable TSA inspections at FBOs led to the TSA updating the program.
Now that the former Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone–renamed the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Special Flight Rules Area–has become permanent, general aviation can turn its eyes to other security actions.
ew 406-MHz personal locator beacon (PLB) aimed at military and public-service users. It is to be available in the second half of this year. Designed for the professional market, the MR 510 is housed in a rugged metal casing. It features manual or automatic actuation via water immersion or lanyard connected to the ejection seat.