Congressman's Nationwide GA Security Plan
New York Republican Rep. John Sweeney has introduced a bill that would require written security plans, full fencing and double locks on all GA aircraft. "These common sense measures will go a long way toward keeping our nation safer at general aviation airports," Sweeney said. However, AOPA calls the proposals "ridiculously expensive" and unnecessary for most GA airports. "Instead, airport owners should work with their local communities to determine what security measures make sense for them," said AOPA spokesman Andy Cebula. "The Transportation Security Administration developed guidelines that can help communities establish standards but they are meant to be just that -- guidelines." The recent concern about GA security has its roots in an early-morning joyride allegedly taken by a 20-year-old student pilot and two of his teenaged friends in a Cessna 172 recently. There have been similar incidents in recent years in the south and central areas of the country but this one ended at Westchester Airport in New York where there were plenty of people, influential people, to notice. The state of Connecticut (the flight originated in Danbury) has called for a nationwide review of GA security and so has Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.). Now Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano has joined in by asking Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff and the FAA to require that security measures already in place at Westchester (wheel locks, chains and a common employee ID system) be forced on all GA airports.