...Foreign Pilots Don't Get Independent Appeal
Gray's case is further complicated by his British citizenship. When the TSA first adopted its pilot security review standards, it appointed itself the sole arbiter of who presented a security risk. The lack of checks and balances outraged aviation groups (and plenty of congressional leaders, too) and the rules were modified to give U.S. citizens the right to a third-part review of any TSA decision. "The third party review is only available to U.S. citizens," explained AOPA's Chris Dancy. "Mr. Gray does not have the same protection as a U.S. citizen." Dancy said Gray's situation is exactly the scenario AOPA feared when the TSA standards were unilaterally imposed three years ago. Gray hasn't asked for AOPA's help (maybe he should) but he is getting legal assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union, which appears to be as incredulous about the situation as Gray is. "If we really care about safety, we're not being made safer by rejecting people without letting them know what they are accused of," said ACLU lawyer Susan Wunsch. "The government makes mistakes."