Charter Operators Spared ... For Now

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Operators of large charter aircraft have been given some breathing room on new security rules by the Transportation Security Administration. In a letter to the National Air Transportation Association, the TSA announced it has scrapped a December 1, 2002, deadline that would have forced the half-dozen or so operators to set up airline-type passenger and baggage screening for their flights. That would be a major problem if the flights used airports that didn't normally handle passenger flights and therefore didn't have the equipment necessary to do the security checks. The rules would affect only flights using aircraft larger than 95,000 pounds. Part of the problem was that the TSA didn't have all of the rule written. When it is finally finished (no ETA was given), the charter companies will have 30 days from the time it becomes a final rule before they have to comply.

NOTE: You can read the TSA's letter to the National Air Transportation Association in Adobe's Portable Document Format, free readers for which are available at Adobe's Web site.