Airline Pilots, Mechanics Rap TSA Rule

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Airline pilots and mechanics are the latest to weigh in on a new regulation that allows the Transportation Security Administration to order the FAA to suspend and revoke airman's certificates for security reasons. "We have serious concerns about the problems of due process this rule poses as well as the vague standards of evidence it contains," said Capt. Jon Safley, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots' Associations. Brian Finnegan, president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association, also said the criteria for suspending a certificate are not specific enough. "There is absolutely no room for error," said Finnegan. "These airman certificates represent significant livelihoods on which families and reputations depend." The new rule was announced, without advance notice, Jan. 24. On written notice from the TSA, the FAA will suspend the certificate of any airman deemed by the TSA to pose a "security threat." Other groups have called the criteria vague and subjective and noted that there is no independent review of the TSA's decision. As of last week, only 11 suspensions were in place and all involved foreign nationals who are not allowed in the U.S.

NOTE: See AVweb's previous coverage of the new TSA rule.