The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently released a proposed set of rules prohibiting flight of general aviation aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds unless they meet stringent new security program and pilot and passenger FBI clearance requirements. In light of that proposal, it is interesting to note that in July the agency said it is drafting proposed rules covering security of repair stations.
United States Department of Homeland Security
There are many questions about how the TSA will enforce the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program regulations and how the agency will know if someone isn’t complying. Will a government official, for example, approach an operator and ask if he has complied with the TSA regulations before takeoff? Will there be a box on the flight plan form? Will air traffic controllers ask for TSA clearances?
Here’s an estimate of the cost of compliance with the TSA’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program:
• Estimated 10-year cost to the TSA to implement the LASP: $133.5 to $139.8 million.
• Estimated cost to industry to comply over 10 years: $1.4 billion
• Per-flight estimated cost: $44
• Annual compliance cost for newly regulated operators: $12,259 to $28,356
This TSA NPRM could have a profound effect on the American pilots who fly aircraft with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds.
The Department of Homeland Security is creating a new visa category, M, to replace the J-1 visa, which allows foreign flight school students to train in the U.S. but is set to expire in June 2010. The new visa will be administered by the DHS instead of the State Department, which issues J-1 visas, and all applicants will be subject to TSA criminal background checks.
If the TSA was expecting the business aviation community to embrace its Large Aircraft Security Program proposal, issued on Thursday, it is in for a major reality check.
In testimony before Congress in June, Admiral James Loy, head of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), stated that 1,208 of the airport passenger security screeners employed by his agency had been recently dismissed after checks of their backgrounds revealed unsatisfactory personal histories, including major felonies.
In a demonstration of how congressional mandates force lawmakers to come to grips with reality, the process of granting Part 145 repair station certificates to companies outside the U.S. has ground to a halt. Last August, Congress passed the “9/11 Recommendation Implementation Act of 2007,” part of which mandated that the TSA create new security rules for foreign repair stations.
The Transportation Security Administration’s previously announced plans to require all operators of aircraft with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds to adhere to the TSA’s large aircraft security program is back at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.
BBA Aviation engine repair and overhaul companies Dallas Airmotive, Premier Turbines and International Turbine Service have been granted Importer Self Assessment (ISA) certification by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.