Wants More Time For Concerned Pilots To Weigh In
This week, National
Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen
announced his organization signed a joint letter with the Aircraft
Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) asking the Transportation
Security Administration for an extension to the comment period on a
new TSA proposal for general aviation, published Thursday in the
As ANN reported, TSA's new plan, called the
Large Aircraft Security Program, would cover all Part 91 operations
and operators of any aircraft over 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff
Much of the content of the proposed 260-page rule was made
public on October 9; however, Thursday's publication of the
proposed rule in the Federal Register officially begins the 60-day
public comment period.
"This proposal represents a significant regulatory change in the
conduct of private aircraft operations," the NBAA/AOPA letter
states. "We believe that the 60-day comment period is insufficient
in order to provide TSA with answers to the substantial number of
questions posed in the proposal and to provide sufficient time for
community education and feedback... We believe TSA will benefit
substantially by a 60-day extension to the comment period and the
use of public meetings."
In a meeting Wednesday
with TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, Bolen said the business aviation
community is committed to promoting security, and the industry's
actions since the 9/11 terrorist attacks had reflected that fact.
But Bolen expressed disappointment that the proposed rule appears
to have been written with commercial operations in mind.
"It is important that whatever is done to promote security be
tailored to the operation and the risk involved," Bolen said. "It
also has to be prudent, effective, reasonable and workable. This
proposal does not appear to be in line with those principles. I
think our comments will be substantial."
Bolen added NBAA is urging its Members to get involved as well,
noting that the Association had been providing Members with a link
to a government web site where individuals could submit feedback
about the plan. "Our Members have expressed real concerns about the
TSA's proposal," Bolen said, "and we want to ensure that their
voices are heard by government officials on this issue.
"We are convinced there are ways to maintain the vital balance
between enhancing aviation security and preserving the mobility and
flexibility that are at the foundation of business aviation," Bolen
concluded. "It's an approach we will continue to promote - and we
are confident our Members will do likewise."