Pilots Secure, But Only Temporarily...

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Pilot (In)Security Rules Go Back For A Rewrite...

In January 2004, the FAA told AVweb a third-party appeal process (to an Administrative Law Judge) had been implemented, but now the entire rule that granted the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) the right to pull your certificate has been suspended, AOPA says. ... Suspended until the TSA develops procedures to allow pilots due process. The rule, implemented in January 2003, granted the TSA the authority to direct the FAA to revoke a pilot's certificate based on the TSA's belief that the pilot posed a vaguely defined national security threat. The targeted pilot might not see the evidence gathered to make that determination, and was (until January 2004) able to appeal only to the TSA, the same organization that determined in the first place that they should not be allowed to fly. The forthcoming changes won't save you from wandering into a moving TFR (beware: if it's Monday or Tuesday, it must be Maine and Arkansas) or what happens to you once you have strayed, but we doubt anyone's complaining. AOPA opposed the rule, and after lengthy and intense lobbying on Capitol Hill and in the halls of the TSA, prevailed on clearer minds. "While AOPA fully supports the goal of combating terrorism and has worked closely with TSA in this effort," wrote AOPA President Phil Boyer early on in the fight, "this should not result in undermining one of the most foundational elements of the nation by suspending the rights of U.S. citizens who hold pilot certificates to 'due process.'" Even though the rule is currently suspended, it is not gone.