New TSA Proposal Must Balance Security With Mobility
Add two more aviation "letter groups" to the list of those which
plan to carefully review Thursday's notice of proposed rulemaking
(NPRM) issued by the Transportation Security Administration,
regarding sweeping changes to security requirements on all aircraft
over 12,500 lbs MTOW.
Noting his organization has worked with TSA officials for many
months to educate the agency on the requirements of business
aviation operators -- as well as the many voluntary security
programs already undertaken by many of those companies -- Ed Bolen,
president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association,
said NBAA will scrutinize the 260-page NPRM, to ensure it reflects
the twin needs for security and mobility that are hallmarks of
"We've been discussing the TSA's security plans with our
members, and keeping them apprised of our ongoing efforts to
maintain that vital balance between the need to strengthen aviation
security and to preserve the mobility and flexibility that are at
the foundation of business aviation," Bolen (above) said. "We will
review [the NPRM] carefully, consulting with NBAA's Security
Council and coordinating with our members to comment on this
"Based on an initial review, we expect to file substantial
comments on the proposal," Bolen added.
As ANN reported, the proposed TSA regulations
would cover aircraft with a maximum certified takeoff weight (MTOW)
above 12,500 pounds, and the general aviation (GA) airports that
serve these larger aircraft. Known as the Large Aircraft Security
Program (LASP), the TSA plan includes security training for flight
crews, periodic security audits for operators, and requirements for
GA and other airports that service large aircraft.
NBAA plans to conduct a series of Town Hall meetings across the
country to solicit Member input.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) also
weighed in on the NPRM, with GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce
noting "the security of the US and global aviation system is of
utmost concern to the general aviation industry. Therefore, we
appreciate that the TSA has undertaken a rulemaking process which
will allow for comment from the members of our industry.
"GAMA will be reviewing this NPRM to ensure that it addresses
potential security risks with methods of compliance that do not
restrict the utility of general aviation aircraft," Bunce said.
"Measured against this standard, our initial read of the NPRM
concerns us in that some very burdensome requirements may not
provide commensurate security benefits to an already safe and
In a note of measure optimism, Bunce added, "We look forward to
continued participation in this deliberative process,
constructively working with TSA and other stakeholders to meet
legitimate security concerns in effective, practical ways."