GA Badging Plan Delayed

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AOPA says it's working behind the scenes to mitigate the effects of a so-far secret plan by the Transportation Security Administration to require background checks and badging of general aviation pilots using airports served by airlines. AOPA says it's been aware of the proposal for some time and its lobbying efforts resulted in a 60-day delay (to June 1) for implementation while the TSA considers input from general aviation operators. It's hoped that security measures more in tune with GA operations and requirements will result. This latest security news, on top of a veritable blitz of attention on GA by the TSA has lit up blogs and forums and suffice to say there's not much support for the initiative.

Among the questions raised in the chatter is what would happen to pilots from non-commercial airports who landed at a bigger airport, minus the requisite badging and background checks. "It's an important development that the TSA has recognized that we're users with a vested interest at these airports and wants to work with us to explore alternatives," said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of security. "Our goal is to work with the TSA to ensure pilots' need for access at commercial airports is addressed."