TSA Disputes Flight School Security Claims
The Transportation Security Administration says Sen. Chuck Schumer is wrong about claims that thousands of foreign nationals are getting flight training without the required documentation and background checks. "Each and every foreign national that applies for flight training at any FAA-certified school anywhere in the world is checked by TSA prior to beginning that training," TSA spokesman Jon Allen told The Associated Press. Schumer told reporters that there are 8,000 foreign nationals illegally taking flying lessons in the U.S. Thatís the same number used in an ABC News investigation that reached the same conclusion as Schumer but in a less colorful manner. Schumer didnít say where he got his information from but he left no doubt as to how he felt about it. "This is 9/11, or at least the failure that led up to 9/11, all over again," said Schumer, a New York Democrat. The ABC report quoted leaked TSA memos and a retired FAA inspector as claiming that foreigners were getting lessons and pilot certificates without being vetted by the TSA. The 8,000 figure apparently came from ABCís FAA source, Bill McNease, who said he found 8,000 foreign students in the FAA database who earned their pilot certificates without being vetted by the TSA.