Agency Also Expands Program Scope To Include Non-Commercial
This is the official TSA statement on the initiation of potentially
draconian new regs that directly affect the US GA flight training
community. We'll have a lot more to say about it over the next few
days... but if this isn't one of the most outrageous indications of
the TSA's bureaucratic indifference, ignorance and arrogance, we
don't know what is. At the AOPA Expo, it was obvious that whatever
confidence TSA shared with GA is disappearing fast... and this is
one of the prime reasons. Pilots are getting REALLY upset with
Offical Statement By TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced
Friday that it is now requiring security threat assessments for
non-U.S. citizens seeking training at U.S. flight schools,
regardless of the type and size of the aircraft.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the
Aviation and Transportation Security Act mandated the U.S.
Department of Justice to conduct threat assessments for non-U.S.
citizens who sought training on aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or
more including commercial aircraft. Vision 100 – Century of
Aviation Reauthorization Act transferred this responsibility from
Justice to TSA as of October 5, 2004.
“September 11th taught us that terrorists exploited the
use of U.S flight schools,” said Rear Adm. David M. Stone
(pictured below), USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland
Security for TSA. “Fortifying security by knowing who trains
at these schools is an integral part of our mission to secure the
The program is designed to prevent terrorists from receiving
pilot training from flight schools. As a prerequisite to flight
training, non-U.S. citizens must provide to TSA fingerprints,
biographical information, including full name, passport and visa
information, and training specifics such as the type of aircraft
the candidate seeks instruction to operate.
In addition to security
assessments, TSA’s new initiative will:
- Streamline the threat assessment process from 45 to 30 days for
most applicants, and 5 days for some
- Require flight schools to submit a student’s photograph
to TSA to ensure the student reporting for flight training is the
same individual who successfully completed a security threat
- Implement an application fee of $130 for the security threat
- Require flight schools to provide security awareness training
for appropriate staff on an annual basis. To help fulfill this
requirement, TSA plans to offer an on-line course on the
agency’s Web site within a few weeks.
Beginning this week, TSA will accept applications for non-U.S.
citizens seeking flight training in aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds
or less who do not currently hold a FAA or foreign pilot’s
certificate. Starting on December 19, 2004, TSA will accept
applications for all non-U.S. citizens who seek training in
aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less, including those who
already have an airman’s certificate and seeking additional
training for a new certificate and/or rating.