AOPA, GAMA, NBAA Urge TSA To Seek Comments
Three major general aviation groups Thursday jointly requested that the TSA form a rulemaking committee and work with them toward creation of less burdensome security measures for crew and passengers operating aircraft exceeding 12,500 pounds. AOPA, GAMA and NBAA are fighting to reduce the reach of the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) program that would require criminal background checks of all flight crew, and crosscheck of passengers and family members against terrorist watch lists. Beyond that, LASP would require biennial audits of every operator's security program to be submitted to a third party for audit. Each of the three agencies signed the same letter that they then submitted to the TSA, stating that such proposals would "have disastrous consequences on the industry." Pressing for creation of a cooperative workgroup, the groups' aim is to form a rulemaking committee that would involve industry stakeholders in a secure information-sharing forum. The TSA is accepting comments on what is already the LASP notice of proposed rulemaking until Feb. 27, and some business aircraft manufacturers have already chimed in.
The TSA has not yet indicated how it might respond to the formally submitted concerns. Bombardier last week added its own, stating that the proposed legislation will impose "severe restrictions on owners and operators" of business aircraft. The company said in a statement that it is working together with AOPA, GAMA, IBAC, NATA and NBAA to provide recommendations to the TSA.