DCA Access Goal Set

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Groups Want Qualified GA Access By Centennial...

Dec. 17, 2003, may take on an even greater meaning to certain sectors of the aviation community if some of the alphabet groups have their way. The 100th anniversary of the first powered, sustained flight of a private aircraft may also be the day private and charter aircraft are allowed to return to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). National Air Transportation Association President James Coyne set the centennial date as his goal for resumption of non-scheduled flights to DCA in a statement drafted during the National Business Aircraft Association convention last week in Orlando. "We dedicate ourselves at NATA to work with the entire community to achieve the goal of equivalent access to DCA by Dec. 17, 2003," Coyne said. He said NATA and the NBAA have both been working hard to restore access by charter and private aircraft since scheduled carriers were allowed back shortly after 9/11. The key to that access is being able to ensure that crews and passengers get the same level of security screening as airline passengers. "We are committed to restoring access for security-qualified general aviation operations, including private and charter flights," said NBAA President Shirley Longmuir. Ed Bolen, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, also chimed in. "There is no reason why qualified general aviation operators following appropriate airport-specific security protocols should not have the same opportunity [as airlines]," he said.