Fri, Jun 27, 2003
Washes Hands of Reagan National Problem
The Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) denied the National Air Transportation
Association's (NATA) petition to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington
National Airport (DCA) to non-scheduled commercial air carriers,
stating that "they are not the final authority on security
concerns, but a joint partner with several Federal government
"We're disappointed but not surprised," commented
NATA president James K. Coyne.
"We are following the proper
protocol to change what we believe is a gross injustice to
non-scheduled commercial air carriers. Now, although the ball has
been passed to another government agency, we seem closer than ever
to this objective."
FAA "Sympathetic." Pathetic.
In a letter explaining the petition denial, the FAA
stated: "We have reviewed your petition and are sympathetic to your
needs. However, the Department of Homeland Security is the lead on
decisions that identify credible threats [WHAT credible threats?
--ed.] to the National Airspace System (NAS).
The FAA then implements these restrictions and works closely
with the Department of Defense and law enforcement agencies to
ensure that the restrictions satisfy security concerns while
balancing the needs of the aviation community.
"Because these efforts are ongoing
and dynamic, they are established and changed through the Notice to
Airman (NOTAM) system rather than the usual rulemaking procedures
outlined in 14 CFR, Part 11."
The FAA went on to say, "We have forwarded your request to the
Transportation Security Administration for review and coordination.
You can expect a further response from us."
"We intend to aggressively pursue this with the TSA," added
"As we've stated countless times over the past year and a half,
there is no rational reason why non-scheduled commercial air
carriers should not be allowed access into the primary airport
serving the nation's capital."
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