...TSA Listens, We'll See How Well It Hears...

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Stone's speech seemed to imply that the range, scope and motivation (the overall safety of our nation) driving the TSA has sent it trolling a broad-reaching ocean with giant nets not yet made dolphin-safe ... and a lot of the playful friendly little guys have so far been mistakenly snatched up. Translation: The agency has first set out to address the immediate (if not three years old) threat and having done so, it now intends to divert some attention to little things like Boy Scouts denied access to control towers, pilots denied access to FSS and FSDO offices, and the inability of pilots, controllers, or FSS personnel to accurately decipher TFRs. It seems too that the TSA may even soon devote some attention to how background checks for a sailplane rating applicant should perhaps differ from those associated with an applicant seeking a type rating or instruction in a B-747 simulator. There are, as one AOPA attendee opined, foreign pilots flying cargo-laden jumbo-jet aircraft into Alaska who are incapable of stopping over to pick up a floatplane rating without submitting to a background check ... for now, performed by a flight instructor. The TSA's Stone confessed he was unaware of some of these problems, but added that was in large part the intent of his visit -- to become aware and react. AOPA's Boyer was quick to add that the two planned to meet, Nov. 4, to address the finer points swept aside by broad, sweeping measures already applied with the same weight to aircraft that may differ in weight by as much as several hundred thousand pounds.