Dealing With GA's Security Image

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NATA Meets With The TSA...

National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President James K. Coyne told Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials last week that the federal governmentís continuing efforts to reassure the American public of their security is doing irreparable harm to the nationís general aviation industry. Coyneís comments to TSA officials came during a regularly scheduled meeting June 4 involving NATA and other organizations representing different segments of the general aviation industry. ] "Time and time again, we see general aviation bearing the brunt of the federal governmentís public statements about specific actions it is taking in the war on terrorism," Coyne said after the meeting. According to NATA's account of the meeting, TSA officials responded that the fears expressed by Coyne and others were very real. And unnamed TSA officials said GA leaders had every right to be concerned about the damage the publicís perception of these restrictions is doing to the general aviation industry.

...As Another Presidential TFR Pops Up...

The FAA will establish a 30-nm-radius temporary flight restriction (TFR) when President Bush travels to the family's seaside retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, this week. The TFR is an expansion of the normal P-67 restricted area that is always in place over the vacation home. The TFR will be in effect from 2:25 p.m. local on Thursday, June 12, until 12 p.m. local on Monday, June 16. ] The TFR will expand the existing prohibited area (P-67) to a 10-nm radius, closing Biddeford (B19) and Goosefair. Restricted operations will be imposed between 10 nm and 30 nm around the Bush family retreat. The TFR will also affect operations at Portland International Airport (PWM) and 13 other airfields in the region. AOPA and EAA offer graphical representations of these restrictions on their respective Web sites.

...And The L.A. Accident Doesn't Help

While the discussions of what potential terrorism threat GA may pose to the public continue, the news of last Friday's aircraft crash into an apartment building certainly didn't do anything to calm those fears. A Beech Bonanza crashed into an apartment building near Hollywood on Friday afternoon, killing the pilot and four others and causing the three-story structure to catch fire. FAA officials say the aircraft, which was flying VFR, departed the Santa Monica Airport, about 10 miles away, minutes before impact. ] Initial reports indicate the Santa Monica tower controller advised the pilot to switch to approach control for radar services but the pilot did not make contact. By Sunday, all 17 people believed to have been inside the 15-unit building had been accounted for, including the seven who were hurt in the crash. Two remained hospitalized in stable condition. Of the five people killed in the incident, four were believed to be in the aircraft.