NATA's Jim Coyne: TSA Has Grown a Backbone to Stand Up to Congress

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The Transportation Security Administration is expected to stand up to Congressional "fear mongering" on GA security issues in coming months according to the president of the National Air Transport Association. Jim Coyne told AVweb on Tuesday some personnel changes within the TSA are helping it get a better handle on the complexities of GA. "I think what happened is that they got a few people who knew a little about general aviation in TSA. One of our former staff people went over there. They have a capable, knowledgeable team, but they really only have only two or three people over there who have much GA experience," Coyne said in an interview after a presentation on airport issues at Venice, Florida. "The reality is that many of the aviation security concerns have been created out of thin air by fictional novelists ... . [F]ortunately, TSA now has some backbone to tell some Congressmen we're not into the fear-mongering anymore."

We asked Coyne if last week's crash in Austin, in which a local pilot with a tax beef flew his Dakota into an office housing the IRS, would spin Congress into high-profile hearings. "I think the odds are probably one in three for hearings on this. My guess is the appetite for most Congressmen to revisit this is pretty low. It won't be a media event with a lot of hysterical attention," he added.

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For more, listen to our podcast interview with Coyne