…As British Pilot Sues TSA Over Training Ban…


A British pilot, who works for an American regional airline, is suing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to find out why they deem him a “threat to aviation or national security.” Robert Gray says the agencies have refused (on security grounds, of course) to tell him why he shouldn’t be allowed to fly larger and more complex aircraft than those he’s been flying for Cape Air, a regional airline that flies mostly to Massachusetts destinations (it also has operations in Florida, the Caribbean and Micronesia). He insists it’s all a mistake but says security officials won’t tell him what triggered his “threat” status so he can sort it out. They did, however, give him a copy of his U.S. Customs profile, which describes the Belfast-born Gray as “Hispanic.” Last fall, Gray, who’s been flying small commercial planes for Cape Air for eight years, got a job offer to fly bigger stuff for a charter company as long as he passed the security requirements. Since last October, the TSA has been conducting security reviews of all foreign pilots seeking upgrades to their privileges. When he was rejected, Gray appealed the decision but the TSA rejected the appeal. It also sent letters to his current employer and his prospective employer notifying them of the security denial. Cape Air spokeswoman Michelle Haynes said Gray “is a very qualified pilot and we’re happy to have him in our Cape Air family.”