Senate Acts On GA Security...

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You Won't Like This, AOPA Says

The spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is in play this week in Washington, and the policy-watchers at AOPA are raising a red flag -- some senators are submitting amendments that would make GA pilots very unhappy. The worst one says anyone who negligently violates Washington's restricted flight zone leading to the evacuation of a public building could be slapped with a $100,000 fine, confiscation of the aircraft, and a five-year loss of flying privileges. New Mexico Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman sponsored this amendment, and AOPA already is talking to them. "The proposed penalty is extraordinarily harsh -- too harsh in fact -- but it's clear that members of Congress want to get every pilot's attention that they will not accept any more excuses for these transgressions," AOPA President Phil Boyer said on Tuesday. "And frankly, there is no excuse. That's why all responsible pilots must do everything they can to make sure their aircraft and airports are secure and that every member of our community understands the consequences of security violations. The transgressions of a few are tarnishing all of us who fly, and their actions may impact our freedom of the skies."