Maine Paper Failed To Note General Aviation Contributions To
In response to an article in the Portland (ME) Press Herald
about pending Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules for small
aircraft, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen sent a letter to the
editor last week pointing out the extensive work done by general
aviation to tighten security in recent years, in voluntary
cooperation with federal officials.
"The article, 'More Rules for Planes, Small Boats' (May 25)
didn't mention the extensive work done by the general aviation
community to tighten security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks,"
Bolen (shown at right) writes. "As a result, general aviation (GA),
which covers all flights except the military and airlines, has
enhanced an already strong security environment at GA airports and
"Security has always been a top priority for general aviation,"
Bolen adds. "As federal officials consider new GA security
policies, NBAA will continue working with authorities to highlight
the effective measures already in place, and ensure an appropriate
balance between security and mobility concerns."
Bolen notes shortly following 9/11, "the National Business
Aviation Association (NBAA) worked with the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) on an initiative to establish industry-leading
security standards for personnel, facilities, aircraft and
in-flight operations. This early pilot program, called the
Transportation Security Administration Access Certificate (TSAAC),
has helped inform and advance the current work being done by the
TSA on general aviation security.
Bolen notes an "Airport Watch" program was also created, with a
24-hour, toll-free number to report suspicious activity to TSA
officials. He also notes manufacturers have stepped up their own
security efforts, by adopting procedures to report suspicious
financial transactions during aircraft purchase.
"Non-US citizens are carefully screened by flight trainers, and
federal airman and aircraft registries are closely checked by law
enforcement against terrorist lists," he adds. "And, charter
aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs. must comply with
TSA-mandated security procedures akin to those for the