President Bush Tuesday signed into law a homeland security spending bill that includes language directing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to work with industry to expand the transportation security administration access certificate (TSAAC), a voluntary general aviation security program.
United States Department of Homeland Security
• So, President George W. Bush won the election and will serve four more years in the White House. Cabinet changes are the subject of speculation, but Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s name has not surfaced as of press time. Troubled by back problems, Mineta may or may not stay on.
GA groups generally welcomed the Senate confirmation of Judge Michael Chertoff to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, replacing Tom Ridge, who resigned. But his positions on general aviation are still unknown.
Ten days before the January 20 Presidential inauguration, the FAA issued a six-page national security flight advisory describing airspace restrictions surrounding the event.
Last month, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) introduced bills to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Transportation to draw up regulations to re-open Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation. Such regulations would have to be prepared within six months of the bill becoming law.
At an oversight meeting on the President’s proposed FY2006 budget for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), subcommittee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) expressed concern about the lack of progress by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and TSA in reopening the airport.
Adm. James Loy, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has been promoted to second-in-command at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was selected over other higher-ranking officials in the Cabinet department.
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.