NATA Comments On Security Legislation

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On March 13, the Senate passed S.509 as part of a homeland security bill (S.4) that includes legislation that would within one year require the TSA to develop a "standardized threat and vulnerability assessment program for general aviation airports," according to the National Air Transportation Association. The legislation states that a study would be designed to ascertain the feasibility of grants to upgrade security at those airports. NATA supports this part of the legislation, so long as those grants offset any financial burdens incurred by mandatory compliance. For foreign-registered general aviation aircraft, a risk-assessment program would be put in place with those identified as higher risk required to supply passenger information to the TSA. The legislation will now move through a House-Senate conference where changes may be made. Language already contained in the bill supportive of TSA screener unionization might kill it, and President Bush has threatened a veto if that verbiage is kept intact.