The House Homeland Security
Appropriations Committee offered AOPA's Airport Watch program the
best possible endorsement you can get in Washington, DC -- money.
Last week, the committee told the Transportation Security
Administration that it expects the TSA to "continue funding the
toll free number (866/GA-SECURE) to reinforce security at the
nation's 5,400 public-use general aviation airports."
More significantly, the committee recommended $275,000 for
"additional promotion" of the Airport Watch program. That money
will be used for another widespread distribution of AOPA's Airport
Watch materials to the entire aviation community. "We thank
committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) for
recognizing Airport Watch's important contribution to aviation
security," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of
government and technical affairs.
The Airport Watch endorsement was
part of the $30.8 billion spending bill for the DHS. AOPA created
Airport Watch in early 2002 to improve general aviation security.
The association convinced the federal government to provide the
toll-free security hotline and created and funded pamphlets,
videos, posters, and airport signs to accompany a massive pilot
education campaign on airport security. AOPA also distributed the
materials to the entire GA community.