...As Airports Adapt (Again)
The new rule really just recognizes procedures that have developed over time since the original SFAR was issued, says David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield. Over the last several years, he has worked with the TSA and FAA to obtain the approvals of more than 400 area pilots who are allowed to fly in and out of his field, he said. The new TSA rule should help to relieve the public perception that the airport is off-limits. "Basically, the new rule will replace prior confusion with new confusion," he told AVweb on Saturday. But it's less constraining, he said, and "absolutely" a step in the right direction. Stan Fetter, manager of Washington Executive Airport/Hyde Field, agreed. "We're pleased, but not excited," he told AVweb on Saturday. "It's hard to tell what impact it will have. Operators still have to be willing to come here and spend a day or two running around to get the approval." He'd like to see those procedures simplified and made more user-friendly. For example, he said, operators should be able to file their paperwork and get fingerprinted at any convenient federal offices, rather than just those in the D.C. area. He used to get a lot of business jet traffic, he said, and hopes some of those operators, who are still shut out of National, will return.