...Alphabets Dissect The Rule...

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Neither EAA nor AOPA believe it is the intent of the rule that U.S. citizens need to go through the background check and TSA application process -- but they also agree that the language of the rule is so confusing and unclear that they fear it could be interpreted that way. "When the players are gone, the rules remain," EAA's Doug Macnair, vice president of government relations, told AVweb on Friday. "It's good to be clear at the outset, so it's not subject to interpretation." Both EAA and AOPA also raised questions about the requirement for Certified Flight Instructors to register with their local FSDO. "Are they coordinating this? Will the FAA be ready to do that?" asked Macnair. AOPA said there are 86,000 CFIs in the U.S. "We don't think TSA appreciates [that]," AOPA said. For flight schools and instructors flying aircraft that weigh less than 12,500 pounds, the rule takes effect Oct. 20. At its Web site, EAA offers an outline of the rule, meant to help flight instructors and flight schools get familiar with its requirements.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) weighed in on Thursday, and agreed with GAMA it's a positive development that the new rule establishes the TSA as the authority in charge of the flight-school program. "NATA has worked closely with Congress and the TSA for this transition of authority from the Department of Justice for quite some time, and we expect the TSA to be much more responsive to the needs of our industry," said NATA spokesman Eric Byer. But NATA expressed concern over the rule's notification, record-keeping and security-training requirements. "Imposing burdensome requirements on all flight-training providers, irrespective of their training capability and clientele, is taking the definition of notification to an extreme," said Byer.