TSA's "Outreach" Begins, TFRs For G8 Summit

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This week's International G8 Summit near Savannah, Ga., is bringing not only world leaders and restricted airspace to the region, but a new TSA presence at general aviation airports. Prior to the summit, the TSA will assign teams of Aviation Security Inspectors to about 28 GA airports located within the TFRs, Steven Calabro of the TSA's GA Directorate told EAA last week. The inspectors won't be there just to enforce regulations, but to provide information and enhance awareness during the summit. "We're hoping to become familiar with [each] airport, its operations and its surroundings," Calabro said, "More importantly, to be liaisons on issues that arise with aircraft operations and NOTAMs where they have the ability to get that information back to us at a command center, 24 hours a day during this event." Those "issues" may seem limited to TFR violations, not complaints. The effort is part of the TSA's new GA outreach program. The TSA hopes to make some introductions and establish points of contact with airport management, fixed-base operators and airport businesses, Calabro said. The inspectors also will be available to "work with airport assets in the event anything like a TFR violation or suspicious activity on the ground takes place," Calabro said. The TSA inspectors will keep track of information like aircraft on the ground, report any suspicious activity and support individual airports. "It's more of an outreach kind of thing and a training aid for [inspectors] to become educated on some general aviation issues," Calabro added. "The outreach program and related visits to airports is designed to promote airport, aircraft, and airmen security awareness and is not part of a regulatory enforcement policy." The G8 Summit will be held at Sea Island, Ga., tomorrow through Thursday. McKinnon Airport and Jekyll Island Airport will be closed during the event. Brunswick/Golden Isles Airport and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport will allow only approved commercial passenger and cargo flights. Two TFRs will be in effect, and GA aircraft will restricted to departing or landing at an airport in the outer rings. Check the FAA Web site for more details and updates.