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Sat, Mar 21, 2009

EAA Says Homeland Security Initiatives Could 'Lock Out' GA

Urges Pilot Community To "Rally To Protect Its Interests"

General aviation is under attack on several fronts in the name of national security, in the words of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

While the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its divisions adopt a "whatever it takes" posture, the people who fly aircraft for fun, education, philanthropy, and business are asking whether severe restrictions on freedoms are worth marginal enhancements to security.

"When the cost of lost liberties are combined with the significant dollars required of aviators and airports to comply with these initiatives, an unfavorable cost-to-benefit ratio becomes strikingly evident," EAA states.

"DHS is throwing several security initiatives at general aviation at once, challenging aircraft operators not only to differentiate them but also to understand how they interrelate. Accordingly, EAA has posted an analysis that sorts out the issues and identifies common themes."

The combined effect of these initiatives would be stifling to general aviation, EAA says... adding the possibility exists for new security requirements that might force aviators to acquire government approval before each flight in certain general aviation aircraft; require private citizens to develop and implement costly security-compliance programs; and hamstring historic aircraft operations, such as EAA’s B-17 tour.

"Members of EAA’s Regulatory Affairs staff remind EAAers that these and more consequences could result if the general aviation community fails to rally to protect its interests," the group writes. "They encourage you to stay informed, spread the word, and be prepared to act."

FMI: www.eaa.org, www.tsa.gov

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