DHS Chief Chertoff Pushes For More GA Oversight

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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff made clear in a speech on Monday that he wants more scrutiny of general aviation aircraft that cross the U.S. border -- but while his main concern appears to be with large corporate jets, his proposals don't distinguish between the different types of GA activity. Chertoff discussed his concerns at a meeting of the NATA Business Aviation Roundtable, in Washington, D.C., and the industry was quick to respond. "We will continue to oppose any regulations that place restrictions on GA that outweigh the actual security threat," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "One size doesn't -- and shouldn't -- fit all." Chertoff's plans include creating a partnership with overseas FBOs, in which the FBO will check boarding passengers against the manifests on file. The DHS is working with Signature Flight Support in Ireland and Alaska, and plans to have the program in place by the end of this year.

The latest GA proposals follow an NPRM filed in September by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. That proposed rule would require passenger manifests to be submitted over the Internet for all aircraft crossing the border into the U.S. The plan that has drawn opposition from GA pilots who fly from small, remote fields without Internet access. Comments on the rule must be filed by Nov. 19.