TSA Issues GA Security NPRM

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First impressions of a massive proposed rule aimed at beefing up general aviation security are that parts of it will put an outsized burden on GA operators compared to the security benefit of those measures. "...our initial read of the NPRM concerns us in that some very burdensome requirements may not provide commensurate security benefits to an already safe and secure industry," General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce said in a statement. National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen said his group also has concerns. "Based on an initial review, we expect to file substantial comments on the proposal," said Bolen. The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is also reviewing the document as is AOPA.

The NPRM will affect only aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 lbs but it will also affect airports that handle aircraft that size and larger, which is likely a substantial number of GA airports throughout the country. Among the measures contained in the complicated document are security training for flight crews, audits for operators and requirements for airports that serve the so-called "large aircraft." The groups haven't had time to digest the full document but they are saying they appreciate the chance to. The TSA has the power to simply impose the rule but , after months of discussions with various GA groups, decided to issue a standard NPRM that includes a 60-day comment period.