The Transportation Security Administration was urged Tuesday not to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to aircraft security by essentially transferring measures used for airline security to business aviation. The first of a series of public hearings into the Large Aircraft Security Program being proposed by the TSA was held in White Plains, New York and National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen told AVweb in a podcast interview that hundreds of people packed the meeting room with a consistent message to properly tailor security measures to the special considerations of business aircraft. Bolen stressed business aviation isn’t trying to duck security measures and said GA “takes a backseat to no one” in the implementation of effective programs, such as Airport Watch, which have been done at the initiative of the community and not at the bidding of the federal government.
At the hearing, Bolen said the rule, as proposed, would have “unintended and destructive consequences that threaten the well-being of businesses across the U.S. that rely ontheir airplanes for survival.” The rule would also require any airport that handles aircraft heavier than 12,500 lbs. to have security screening facilities, something that would affect thousands of small airports. Bolen said the TSA seems prepared to listen to GA concerns about the proposed rule, noting it could have unilaterally imposed the measures without consultation had it wanted to.