Key Congressman Raises Questions About LASP

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Those in the GA community opposed to the intrusive Large Aircraft Security Proposal (LASP) proposed by the Transportation Security Administration gained some important support, AOPA said on Monday, when U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., asked the TSA to delay implementation of the program. Congressman Thompson chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over the TSA. In written comments on the proposed rule, submitted last week, Thompson told the TSA that several critical elements of its plan "appear to be problematic, infeasible, or overly burdensome to industry." He urged the TSA to delay implementation of the proposed regulations until the new TSA leadership has a chance to review the NPRM and discuss it with Congress and industry stakeholders. "Chairman Thompson understands the negative impact the LASP would have on general aviation," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. "We hope the TSA will stop its plans for the program and address the grave concerns being expressed by the Committee on Homeland Security and so many others who have spoken out against LASP."

The LASP proposal calls for enhanced security procedures to be applied to aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds, regardless of how they are used. It has drawn widespread opposition from the GA community, and over 5,000 comments were filed. In Alaska, where aviation is often a critical component of daily of life, State Sen. Gene Therriaut and Rep. Mike Kelly separately introduced identical resolutions in the Senate and House expressing the legislature's opposition to LASP. EAA has said that it would likely mean the end of operation for large historic aircraft that now offer rides to the public. Click here to listen to AVweb's recent interview with EAA's man in Washington, Doug McNair, on this topic.