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Fri, Jun 27, 2003

FAA Cedes Power to TSA

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 agencies."

"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 Coyne.

"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."

FMI: www.nata-online.org

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