The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said on Monday it will extend the time period for public comment on its proposed Large Aircraft Security Program for general aviation by an additional 60 days, a change that was lobbied for by GA advocacy groups. The new deadline for public comment is Feb. 27, 2009. The proposed rules would require criminal history records checks of GA flight crews, watch-list matching of passenger manifests, audits of each aircraft operator, and new airport security requirements. "Granting our request will provide much needed time for analysis, community education and feedback," said Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). EAA had asked for 90-day extension, but said in a news release it is pleased the TSA responded promptly. "This proposal would be an unprecedented restriction on the freedom of movement for private U.S. citizens," said Doug Macnair, EAA vice president of government relations. "It would also, for the first time, require governmental review and authority before a person could operate his/her own personal transportation conveyance." AOPA agreed. "This proposal is an unprecedented move by the TSA into general aviation," said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs. AOPA's news release also noted that "serious questions" remain about why GA is being considered for these onerous requirements. For more information about the TSA proposal and how you can submit comments to the government's public docket, visit the NBAA Web site.
For a PDF of the TSA proposal itself, click here.
To read the letter (PDF) submitted by AOPA and NBAA to request the extension, click here.