GA Security Gets An Airing

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Aviation groups gave the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection an earful about the ways general aviation security could be enhanced without crippling the industry at a hearing on Wednesday. NBAA member Martha King and GAMA Chair Mark Van Tine both told the committee that applying airline-style security protocols to general aviation will cripple the industry and not enhance security. "What general aviation operators seek, and America needs, are measures that do not represent a needless sacrifice in liberty without benefit to society," King told the committee. Van Tine said the recently proposed Large Aircraft Security Program missed the mark on several fronts. "The general aviation community does not oppose enhancing security," said Van Tine. "However, we believe that the notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) was unnecessarily burdensome and did not reflect an adequate understanding of general aviation operations."

Van Tine also said the TSA should be more selective in its use of "security directives" which allow it to get around the normal rulemaking process and instantly impose regulations that have not been allowed public comment. "We have seen the TSA repeatedly use security directives to vastly expand existing security requirements without consideration of the implementation challenges, operational impacts and economic burdens these mandates impose on the aviation industry. GAMA strongly supported an amendment offered by Congressman Mica (R-FL) to the TSA Authorization Act, which would require the agency to initiate a rulemaking process for security directives six months after implementation unless there is an emergency situation. We supported this amendment because it struck the right balance between national security and due process," said Van Tine.