Dear President Trump

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In today's Avweb VLOG, Paul Bertorelli asks President Trump to make good on his promise to reduce government regulation. 

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Comments (50)

Agree. A good one Paul.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 5, 2017 7:21 PM    Report this comment

The only way to have that happen, and I mean the ONLY way, is if someone can convince tr tr, damn, still can't say it - 'him' that by doing so it will benefit him either directly or indirectly. And I would not hesitate to use 'alternative facts' to its full delusionary effect for that aim.

He can't tell the difference anyway.

Posted by: Dave Miller | February 5, 2017 8:27 PM    Report this comment

Paul, you just opened a bottomless can of worms. Why did you do that?

Posted by: Thomas Cooke | February 6, 2017 7:32 AM    Report this comment

I, too, 'hang' at an airport where the gate scenario you describe is in place and another in a faraway place where there isn't one inch of fence anywhere in sight. You know ... the way things USED to be. Both ends of the spectrum ... if you will.

I appreciate the fence but do lament its necessity in an urban environment. I don't disagree with your position but I -- likewise -- wouldn't spend one snippet of aviation capital worrying about the few seconds of wait. If I had two minutes with President Trump, it wouldn't be wasted on gate closing wait times. Like it's said, fences make good neighbors. There are mucho more important things to deal with than a few moments of waiting for a fence for the PRIVILEGE of driving on the airport.

I DO agree with the negative impact the large Presidential TFR's but don't think it's arbitrary. The military knows how much space they need to protect the President. Today's Tampa Bay TFR and the weekend's Ft Lauderdale TFR seriously disrupted local air ops. But even there, imagine how little time it'd take to cover 15nm if someone wanted to commit a bad act. Rush Limbaugh even talked about being negatively impacted. One only has to look as far as the hoards of helicopters covering car chases on the freeways of LA to imagine the 'wild west' environment that could ensue without the strict enforcement of those TFR's. There are many issues and no easy answers both ways.

If I had the chance to have two minutes with President Trump, I'd be talking to him about the wider deleterious impact of the well intentioned impact of senseless overregulation on aviation. We all know the issues, here.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | February 6, 2017 8:10 AM    Report this comment

If I had two minutes with President Trump, I would have these words to say:

Stop the destruction of the Santa Monica Airport.

Bring back Meigs Field in Chicago.

In general, stop the destruction of small airports!

Posted by: Alex Kovnat | February 6, 2017 8:23 AM    Report this comment

Yes, I understand having fences around airports in urban areas, but there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of rural county airports where a fence is just stupid. There isn't a landmark a terrorist would have any interest in within the fuel range of a small airplane, not to mention the likelihood of there even being a terrorist within a thousand miles. Really, what's the purpose of fencing rural airports? As you said, "bureaucratic inertia".

Posted by: JOHN EWALD | February 6, 2017 9:04 AM    Report this comment

At most of the lesser-light airports that I frequent, there are signs on the airside of the various gates. The signs say something to the effect of "To regain access to the ramp area, enter code 'xoxo' on the keypad on the outside of this gate."

So any landside moron equipped with a dental mirror or a selfie stick can read the sign and gain access to the "Secure Area." And the codes haven't been changed in the last decade. I feel safe just thinking about this!

Who the f___ thinks up this s___? Seriously. We could save $ thousands per gate, just by using a $10 paddle lock, and hanging the key on a chain fastened to the gate.

On a more positive note, I am basking in the afterglow of last night's magnificent Patriots victory in Super Bowl 51. The pleasure may last until the first day of spring.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 6, 2017 9:30 AM    Report this comment


I completely agree with you on this issue! How about one better, since President Trump is for shinking government, get rid of TSA and the department of homeland security all together.

Posted by: matthew wagner | February 6, 2017 9:31 AM    Report this comment


I have also seen those signs. I just figure that they are a way for the local airport operator's showing contempt for government regulators for having to comply with all those ridiculous "security" rules.

Posted by: matthew wagner | February 6, 2017 9:40 AM    Report this comment

Our airport has the gates. Of course, if you want to drive 1/4 mile down the access road to the gas pumps, you can drive right onto the airport any time you want as there is no gate there.

Has our country always been this gullible and ignorant, or is this a recent illness we are suffering?

Posted by: Ken Keen | February 6, 2017 9:48 AM    Report this comment

You want a Berlin/Mexico type wall around the airports? Keep bitchin'.

Presidential TFRs in Florida? You voted for them. Quit your bitchin'.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 6, 2017 9:58 AM    Report this comment

Raf, we didn't get a vote on the Presidential TFRs. They happen to be wherever the POTUS and VPOTUS are located. Perhaps as we ease toward less stupid regulations and toward a saner approach, the TFRs will hopefully, change.

Bureaucrats are like sharks, but much more dangerous. If a shark smells blood or senses prey they strike, not out of malice but for survival i.e. food. Bureaucrats create regulations not only for survival but also to push their political agenda. Left to their own devices, bureaucrats will cause a logarithmic explosion of regulation. Our job as the regulated is to push back as hard as possible on our elected officials to reign in the regulators. Also we should press our elected officials to not delegate so much authority to the un-elected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

Yars right on. I liked the fact that the commissioner had to eat crow when he passed the trophy to its new keepers.

Paul, you know how to stir the pot for sure. I agree with you less is better; the old KISS principle.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | February 6, 2017 11:10 AM    Report this comment

Alright ... you started this and there seems to unanimity among your minions ... let's carry the ball further.

You have a bully pulpit and a willing constituency here. Why not ACTUALLY write a letter to the President. YOU write the letter and provide an address and we'll all send our signatures to ya. HE says he wants to reduce red tape and bureaucratic poo-poo ... maybe it'll work. Bitchin won't but maybe signatures would?

Posted by: Larry Stencel | February 6, 2017 11:42 AM    Report this comment

Good idea Larry. Include cc Steve Bannon.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 6, 2017 12:01 PM    Report this comment

I'm with Larry on this one. Presidential TFRs and trap gates are stupid, but they're not existential threats to GA. Overregulation in the name of "safety" and litigation / liability risk are existential threats to GA. If we're going to choose something to attack, let's aim for the biggest target.

Make a safety argument. If flying were cheaper, people would fly more, and would thus be safer, since rusty pilots make mistakes. Make a fairness argument. If your plane has an airworthiness certificate and was produced by a factory with a production certificate, you get a liability shield. It's not fair to businesses that luck of the jury-pool draw means one crash yields a standard life insurance payout and another tens of millions of product liability.

If we can ever turn around GA and get lots of new pilots in left seats, TFRs and gates will go away on their own because pilots will be a viable political constituency to appeal to.

Posted by: Joshua Levinson | February 6, 2017 12:59 PM    Report this comment

The purpose of most terrorist attacks is not to simply inflict damage--the real reason for terrorism--IS TO STRIKE TERROR.

The terrorists know that government will over-react--causing billions of dollars to be spent, hiring hundreds of thousands of people to react to the incident--causing hundreds of billions of hours spent by the populace in complying with the new rules. You need look only at the issue of "airport security" (both within and without the terminal) to begin to measure the cost.

If you wanted to hurt the U.S.--there is little more evidence of "bang for the buck" by terrorists than their campaigns--both pre and post 911--a HUGE cost to the country. The terrorists count on US to do the real damage by over-reacting to their actions. Let's not play that game.

Posted by: jim hanson | February 6, 2017 1:07 PM    Report this comment

On the subject of "repeal two laws for every one added"--President Trump could gather huge bipartisan support by asking every Congressman and Senator for THEIR list of un-neccessary laws. For decades, Congresscritters and the General Public have railed against stupid government law and government waste--but things don't change.

Elected officials always say they are listening to constituents--but they don't. These officials could garner a lot of favor in their districts by actually ASKING their constituents for laws they would like to see changed. There is plenty of evidence that the public wants change--Trump made it part of his campaign--and the vast majority of counties approved of it.

Every bureaucrat knows of wasteful laws and wasteful spending--ask THEM to come up with a list of places to cut--and act on it. If people within government can't come up with a single law or expenditure to cut--they should be replaced.

Paul has started the aviation conversation over stupid rules that he would like to see changed--how about a recurring column on changes we would like to see (perhaps backed up with one of the Avweb polls)? Here's an example: 30-day VOR checks. Few people actually DO them. We don't require checks on ADFs, DMEs, or GPS systems--why the VOR? Most instrument pilots have two of them anyway, and can quickly tell whether they are working or not. This has become as outdated as lighted airway beacons.

Here's another: Prohibitions on charitable air rides at local aviation events. How else do most people first get introduced to aviation? The FAA over-reacted--requiring drug tests and Part 135-like requirements to do so--and the ability to purchase airplane rides at the local airport became virtually non-existent. The FAA relented and allowed charitable organizations to offer fund-raising rides by Private Pilots (subject to FAA notification and permission). Why should the FAA be involved at all? Why not simply go back to what worked for decades--a properly rated and current Private Pilot may be involved in charitable flights--using an FAA-certified aircraft with a valid airworthiness certificate?

I'm sure every pilot has a regulation they view as outdated or silly. Let's get our aviation organizations (including AvWeb) to solicit "Rules for Repeal". If nothing else, perhaps the FAA would be so busy repealing OLD rules that they can't issue NEW rules! (smile)

Posted by: jim hanson | February 6, 2017 1:37 PM    Report this comment

This is not relevant to the point you're making, but I hope video will not become your preferred communication vehicle. I say that partly because you are an excellent writer and partly because voice is a grossly inefficient medium. That said, I agree that general aviation is subject to far too many petty regulations.

Posted by: C HULL | February 6, 2017 2:40 PM    Report this comment


Signatures, petitions, complaints, reasoning, logic, explanations, safety or fairness issues, the alphabets - all are no longer effective strategies now. If used for our cause, they must at least be accompanied by an offer, a deal. We need to offer something that will benefit him directly - you know, the art of a deal.

Are any of his immediate or extended family pilots? Those in his cabinet or businesses? How might a business of his benefit from regulatory changes in airports or aviation in general? How can he make money or gain notoriety off of our flying a/vocation?

It's revealed daily he doesn't read, study, consult or contemplate, but tv and video, that's another story. So how about making a nifty (but short) power-point explaining our issues while extolling his wonderfulness, ending with making a deal he cannot refuse? Possibly; "We are so afraid of gubment regulation, bureaucrats and terrorism that we will patronize all of your businesses all of the time and recommend them even to liberals if you would address our complaints forthwith please sir? (Just consider them alternative lies). If we're serious, he's gonna need something.

Posted by: Dave Miller | February 6, 2017 3:16 PM    Report this comment

One thing I hope folks are watching is whether or not HIS 757 ever gets special dispensation from the onerous TFR rules ... his immediate family aboard excepted. OR ... if Rush Limbaugh gets an exception because of his notoriety. That be an immediate 'gotcha,' I'd say. We can only hope that he's at least sympathetic to our plight by virtue of airplane ownership and business support, Dave. He's only been in office two weeks ... let's give him some time.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | February 6, 2017 3:42 PM    Report this comment

Nobody commenting on the TFRs Paul brings up that will shut down GA in the Palm Beach and Tampa/St. Pete areas:

How about using the Date/Collier Glades Training Facility Airport? Built to be a South Florida jetport, it was never opened due to environmental concerns--though it IS open for training. It has a 10,500' runway, an ILS, and is fully staffed. It is only 70 miles from Mar-A-Lago by helicopter--about the same distance Presidents Johnson and Bush commuted when visiting their homes.

It would provide Presidential security without disrupting all of those airports. Paul--you know the area--would it work?

Posted by: jim hanson | February 6, 2017 4:09 PM    Report this comment

On the subject of Trump specifically, he personally will never be pro-GA. He's a real estate and golf course developer. Small airports take up a lot of land and make noise that bothers golfers. He'll view GA with antipathy at best.

Posted by: Joshua Levinson | February 6, 2017 4:59 PM    Report this comment

Those of you impacted by the TFRs in and around Florida should investigate the procedures we were able to put in place here on Oahu with the Obamas' annual Christmas visit. Tour operators and flight schools were able to register with the TSA in advance and continue to operate, albeit with an extra clearance required with the TSA before flights and a discreet squawk for each flight. Apparently this procedure was unique to the island, but might be worth a look for other areas as well.

Posted by: Evelyn Greene | February 6, 2017 6:05 PM    Report this comment

It would provide Presidential security without disrupting all of those airports. Paul--you know the area--would it work?

Sure, it could work. Would the Secret Service allow it? I doubt it.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | February 6, 2017 6:09 PM    Report this comment

GA pilots who are harrumphing about government regulations could do two things:

1) Put on your America's-full-of-terrorists hats (most of us have one) and think again about the potential threats from all those foreigners lurking around with their beards and strange accents and unknown intentions. They still could use airplanes big and small to create a spectacular incident. Remember that the purpose of terrorism isn't really to inflict damage, but to create mass fear with a highly publicized event. And no event gets more widely publicized than a mishap with an airliner or evan a small airplane. A 172 taking off from an obscure airport loaded with a few hundred pounds of explosives crashing into a medium-sized skyscraper in a medium-sized city would trigger mass hysteria once again.

And if we point out that the current security measures are a joke, we're just likely to get tighter security. The alternative is to admit that all this recent fear of foreigners is hyped up out of proportion, and I'm sure that few of us would want to do that when we're not thinking about GA.

2) Support or participate in campaigns to put pressure on the people in government who can change the regulations. Nothing in government changes unless someone on the inside or outside makes is change. But remember that our interests may will run up against people who have more clout than we do, like, say the ALPA, the airline companies or land developers. The results - e.g. BasicMed - may not end up being completely to our liking, but that's how interest-group politics works.

BTW - Paul's acting like he's never heard of tailgating - sneaking in through a secure entrance behind someone who has legitimate access. Surely he's not that naive.

& BTW - good luck getting our new president to agree to let every Tom, Dick and Abdul fly closer to his gold-plated entourage

Posted by: Rollin Olson | February 6, 2017 7:38 PM    Report this comment

I think GA is unsupported, fragmented and unable to effectively take action. Therefore, TSA, TFRs, along with gates and fences will remain.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 6, 2017 9:51 PM    Report this comment

RAF is correct. If all things were equal, we'd have extreme vetting of Ryder truck drivers. And TDRs (Temporary Driving Restrictions) across the landscape like dandelions in springtime. But not all things are equal.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 7, 2017 7:17 AM    Report this comment

Paul, there is another event that almost nobody remembers; just a few days (maybe 3 or 4) before 9-11, there was an so-called "aviator" that got his powered parachute caught on the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

This could have been a perfect fear-inducing terrorist attack (it wasn't) but the media laughed it off as an incompetent bumbling thrill seeker that was just out to have a little fun circling the Statue of Liberty. I have often thought what a difference the public reaction would have been had he done this a week later!

Posted by: A Richie | February 7, 2017 8:53 AM    Report this comment

Rollin, you might wish to listen to the VLOG again before calling me naive. The part where I said technically, you're supposed to block tailgaters would confirm I'm aware of the concept. I'll send you the script if you prefer to read it.

It comes down to what you believe. If you believe that small airplanes represent a compelling security risk--as I do not--than you are also likely to believe that security gates and fences meaningfully reduce risk. They might reduce risk infinitesimally, but is this worth all the effort and expense? I am surprised at how many pilots believe the gates do this. Some think that gates will prevent an incident that results in yet more Draconian security to prevent whatever occurred in the first place.

On our YouTube channel, someone said a 172 loaded with explosives could do a lot of damage. Sure, so can an ordinary gasoline tanker truck like the one that blew up here a couple of years ago and trashed an interstate bridge. Point is, life is full of risks, especially in a society as free as ours. If you wish to protect against all of them, then you'll live in police state and a world of locked doors.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | February 7, 2017 10:03 AM    Report this comment

"If you wish to protect against all [risks], then you'll live in police state and a world of locked doors."

Or as someone once said, "Those who are willing to give up freedom for security deserve neither".

"RAF is correct. If all things were equal, we'd have extreme vetting of Ryder truck drivers. And TDRs (Temporary Driving Restrictions) across the landscape like dandelions in springtime. But not all things are equal."

Yep. But, oh no, airplanes have wings and can come from above! Unfortunately for us pilots, humans have evolved to think two-dimensional, so adding in the third dimension naturally frightens many people. Even though the 2D risk of moving trucks filled with explosives (or just tanker trucks having a bad day) are the more likely threats, airplanes have an exponentially-perceived threat. I don't know of any way to convince those who have the power to change things like TFRs otherwise (and if anything, this election proves that people tend to resort to their feelings rather than facts, even if the facts contradict their feelings; it's just human nature).

Posted by: Gary Baluha | February 7, 2017 10:42 AM    Report this comment

One of the unintended consequences of the airport gate and fence system I have noticed as I'm sure many here have is the protection of the gated community aspect many pilots are now comfortable with.

With hangar door open, many will practice touch and goes, have a sandwich at the restaurant, or, like I did the other day, grabbed my sack lunch and rode the bicycle to the taxiway to watch some round engine warbirds exercising their wings with the hangar door left open.

Maybe that helps with coping? Just sayin.

And Larry, thanks for the url on SOCAL airport history - really enjoyed that trip, but you're asking too much of me to keep waiting for a third-grader to understand a college course. Ain't gonna happen. ;-)

Posted by: Dave Miller | February 7, 2017 10:51 AM    Report this comment

Evelyn is correct. A TFR does not shut down an airport with a TFR. Except when the POTUS in on the field, Almost all normal operations are permissible. IFR and VFR arrivals and departures with a flight plan and transponder code are permitted. Flight school operations in the pattern are . permissible, with certain clearances. We survived, and got where we wanted to go in SoCal during many visits by Obama.

NORDO operations are not, which suits me fine.


Posted by: Edd Weninger | February 7, 2017 11:34 AM    Report this comment


It partially depends on each individual Presidential TFR what is and isn't allowed. When the Obama's vacationed on Martha's Vineyard, the only way in or out (yes, flying out of the TFR was included) was to stop at one of three (I believe) "gateway" airports to be screened airline-style. That effectively shut out quick day-trip style flights, since it wouldn't be worth the effort unless you were staying there most of the day. It also meant through-flights were not allowed, so if one wanted to fly to Nantucket, they'd have to do so via a route that meant spending a considerable amount of time over water...not something I care to do in a single-engine piston aircraft (on the risk-assessment matrix, the likelihood doesn't increase, but the severity certainly does go up, even considering that most ditchings are survivable).

I also wonder how much money is wasted in intercepting pilots who either failed to comply with all the TFR rules, or who accidentally strayed across the TFR boundaries.

Posted by: Gary Baluha | February 7, 2017 12:08 PM    Report this comment


That definitely was not true of the Florida TFRs. The one over Tampa, for instance, shut down flight training, aerial application, traffic reporting and skydiving, to name a few operations. The one over the East Coast was similarly restrictive, but there were exceptions for entry and operations.

But you had arrange the exceptions. Skydive City in Zephyrhills was grounded for several hours. No exceptions. They'll need to make the same arrangements made in Hawaii and Cape Cod on the East Coast, because Trump will be there a lot.

Still, the TFRs should be smaller.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | February 7, 2017 12:49 PM    Report this comment

Not one "terrorist" has been arrested for violating a TFR, only pilots who happen to wander into one by mistake. The same can be said of "no fly lists", and the nonsense that most airline passengers end up going through. At one time the bureaucrats at TSA complained that not enough planes were going into DCA. The same bureaucrats complained that not enough people were signing up for TSA pre-check ( at $85 per person). It would be interesting to find out how much business the FBO's at PBI lost due to the TFR there last week. I'll bet that most operators who would have gone to PBI that weekend ended up going to other airports rather then deal with the TSA nonsense.

Posted by: matthew wagner | February 7, 2017 2:00 PM    Report this comment

Paul -

I'll try to be more literal and precise than I thought I needed to be. I should have written "Paul appears to be discounting [i.e. denigrating or not thinking about] the risk involved in letting a car or person follow him through the gate without knowing whether or not they're authorized to come through the gate."
My own transcript of the relevant section of the vlog reads:

"Let's start with one buried in the TSA regulations that require us to wait for the gate to close before we move on. And technically, if someone is behind you, you're supposed to block them and let the whole inane cycle start over again. It doesn't make any sense. None of this is to suggest that we don't need a fence or a gate. ... What we don't need is TSA busting our chops if we don't wait for the gate to close."

Personally, leaving a secured gate open and unattended "doesn't make any sense" to me.

Back to the vlog - from the words "technically" , "you're supposed to block them" and "inane", the ambiguity of "it", and the exasperated tone of voice, I inferred that you see no reason to make sure that the person behind you is authorized to come through the gate. That may not have been your intent; maybe you just assume that nobody's going to try to sneak in when the gate is open. (I note at 3:10 in the video that the gate is right next to a parking lot where that red pickup or other car could be "skulking". My home airport has a similar parking lot next to the gate.) But there's an easy way to make sure it never happens; just wait until the gate closes.

There's an ironic thing about regulations: the more you try to tailor them to any and all situations, the more complicated and nitpicky they become. Better to have a one-size-fits-all rule that covers any situation.


Posted by: Rollin Olson | February 7, 2017 10:43 PM    Report this comment

About the larger security question - I was thinking about the old saying "what's good for the goose is good for the gander". A large segment of the American population - and I think many GA pilots - have bought the current Administration's line that previous Administrations freely admitted hordes of terrorists and other dangerous foreigners into the country, and we must take extreme measure to keep them out. In other words, many people (tho not me) believe the notion that the US is already full of terrorists. If it were true in the realm of politics, then it must be true in the real world as well. But most people have one set of rules for the outside world and another set for themselves and their friends & family. We can say that dangerous people could be lurking everywhere, but they'd never go near MY airplane. Or if they did, it would be no big deal. I know my plane, and it would never hurt anybody.

Personally, I agree that the fear of terrorists (including the current hype) is overblown, but the theoretical threat still exists. Would the GA community withstand the blowback if one of our planes were used in an attack? We could face much tighter restrictions, if only for political reasons. Everybody understands the utility of gasoline tanker trucks and wouldn't call for banning them if a truck rammed into a building; but like it or not, the general public doesn't like our toys, and already sees them as dangerous.

Any one person can say they're not afraid of terrorists. But many people are, and they vote. And right now they're primed to accept "draconian" measures in the name of security.

So I say, be careful what you wish for, and think about what it means.

Posted by: Rollin Olson | February 7, 2017 10:44 PM    Report this comment

"Would the GA community withstand the blowback if one of our planes were used in an attack? We could face much tighter restrictions, if only for political reasons."

This is the very thinking that cracks open the door to a true security police state, a community of compliant subjects who follow rules because they're fearful of worse. And who assume they'd better be quiet because they're lucky to have what they have.

It also begets another question; a thought experiment. Imagine the airport had no fence at all, as many do not. Now place a probability on this fence preventing the attack you just described. Would it? I have trouble believing it would make the slightest difference.

As for blocking tailgating, we do it for one main reason: To satisfy the TSA. Most people do not do it because they don't see the logic of it. They don't see the risk it mitigates. Admittedly, this varies by airport. In some places, they take it more seriously.

To me, the better plan is an observant and aware airport community, which we have. See something, say something.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | February 8, 2017 4:15 AM    Report this comment

Proposition: No one decides to fill an airplane with explosives and then go do harm, simply because that airplane is not "secured" behind a fence. Airplane theft is about as difficult as bicycle theft. Maybe easier - at least bikes are paddle-locked to a phone pole.

If you're intent on doing harm, you'll find a way to deliver the goods - fence or no fence. Ryder truck or Boeing aircraft.

I tailgate-block cars/drivers who I don't recognize; the others, I let through. Lock me up. I'm with Paul: see something; say something.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | February 8, 2017 9:23 AM    Report this comment

Signs, gates and stupid policies do not prevent terrorist acts. Securing your airplane/hanger is doing your part to prevent aircraft theft. Locks keep honest people honest. A determined thief or terrorist, will find the means to carryout his/her criminal deeds. We have to take precautions.

I just can't see terrorists going home because there is a sign or fence in their way. There are many tools on the market that will render a lock, chain, or fence useless. In the fire service, we call them master keys. Depending on the obstacle, there tools that many of us possess which will defeat the obstacle. The bureaucrats like the feel good that comes from stupid signs and requirements.

If we each provide a means of protecting our equipment then the bad guys will go to our good neighbor down the road who is not as protected. Common sense, what an ancient term, tells us that a determined adversary will defeat the best of defenses. We need to impede the casual and less motivated but the most determined will not be stopped unless interdicted.

The old adage "the individual can do more harm to society than society can do to the individual" is as true today as ever. Unfortunately, terrorists are able to use the news media, politicians and bureaucrats as force multipliers.

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | February 8, 2017 12:08 PM    Report this comment

Leo. "Unfortunately, terrorists are able to use the news media, politicians and bureaucrats as force multipliers." Good statement. I would add to your comment after politicians "... public gullibility, public ignorance, public indifference and public stupidity" as force multipliers. They all fit the current social and political affairs.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 8, 2017 1:30 PM    Report this comment

I hear y'all.

Some closing thoughts on this matter.

- Paul is correct that the fear of the foreign terrorist threat is way overblown, for political reasons and as a result of basic human psychology. But the fear exists and will only get worse. We should be smart in dealing with the effects of that fear.

- The basic principle of security is reasonable deterrence. No real-world security system is 100.000% secure, but any good security system should make it hard enough for an intruder to penetrate that they'll not try. With no gates, no fence, no security, literally anybody can drive onto an airport parking ramp. Don't make it easy for the bad guys, whoever they are.

- "See something, say something" works when there are people around, and they see something, and they perceive that something is suspicious, and they say something, and somebody does something about it. Otherwise, it doesn't.

- Maybe Paul should go big. Rather than complain about a tiny commonsense regulation, ask President Trump to abolish the regulations for gates and fences altogether. After all, they're just government regulations, right?

- A lot of people in GA and elsewhere just don't like the government telling them what to do. I get it. But they submit to the rules of private companies like insurers without a lot of public bellyaching. I don't get it so much. (I wonder if Paul would object to the same anti-tailgating rule if it were imposed by his local airport manager.)

- Being a worst-case-scenario kind of guy, I can see the possibility of the security police state only getting worse. But most GA pilots probably wouldn't notice or care because it would affect other people, not them personally.

Posted by: Rollin Olson | February 8, 2017 2:11 PM    Report this comment

All we need is JaBa to complete the choir.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 8, 2017 2:32 PM    Report this comment

Agree, Raf. Your listed conditions all lead to a resultant acquiescence to terrorism, ironically of which fences and TFR's actually represent. Taking the VLOG's lead, we should tear down these fences and walls immediately and live with the infinitesimal risk - without the fear. However...

Fearmongering is huuge business when the populace is primed for it, and it spreads and eats like cancer. Many are making lots-o-money off of it today, it's the current, best power lever. Rock on, Paul, let's tear 'em all down. I't's just that maybe the fearmonger-in-chief isn't the one to appeal to. :-)

Posted by: Dave Miller | February 8, 2017 2:52 PM    Report this comment

Something just occurred to me. We had the fence and the gate before 911. Mohammed Atta probably had a gate key.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | February 8, 2017 3:17 PM    Report this comment

"We have met the enemy and he is us" Pogo

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | February 8, 2017 5:20 PM    Report this comment

Raf " I would add to your comment after politicians "... public gullibility, public ignorance, public indifference and public stupidity" as force multipliers. They all fit the current social and political affairs."

" Stupid is as stupid does" Forrest Gump

Posted by: Leo LeBoeuf | February 8, 2017 5:23 PM    Report this comment

Wow! Now 48 comments on what I see as a non-issue either ways. Waiting for a gate to close isn't real high on my "I wanna wring their necks" list of irritants in aviation. Must be a slow news night?

It just popped into my thoughts about the story of a stolen Citation VII at St Augustine, FL in 2005. See: The perp got thru the security fencing, knew about the security cameras so he stole that, too, and flew the jet with 5 buddies to Gwinnett County airport in GA. So -- yes -- where there's a will there's a way. How about the barefoot bandit, and the various airports with security that had hangars broken into and airplanes vandalized. OK ... I "GET" it. But I like the fence nevertheless.

At my northern outpost where there isn't an inch of fence, I often go for an hours flight and leave my 44' hangar door wide open. Up there, people are still mostly honest and there isn't much crime. But down here in the third most populated State in the Union now ... I'll take the fencing. If nothing else, it keeps dogs and kids from being sliced and diced by propellers.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | February 8, 2017 11:07 PM    Report this comment

FLASH! PBI is going 'down' for the weekend (sic). Won't be long before the natives start balking at the 'airborne (invisible) fence.'

Posted by: Larry Stencel | February 9, 2017 6:24 AM    Report this comment






Posted by: Rafael Sierra | February 9, 2017 10:54 AM    Report this comment

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