Rep. Sweeney introduces GA security bill

A federal bill to enhance security at GA airports was recently introduced by Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) and, although it has not moved out of committee, it serves as strong motivation for airports to voluntarily beef up their security plans to avoid more regulatory action.

The General Aviation Airport Security Act of 2005 (HR 3397) calls on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to require airport operators to register with TSA and to provide written security plans. Private use airports would be required to have double locks on all aircraft, all perimeters adequately fenced, and all hangars locked when not in use. Security plans, once approved, would have to be renewed every three years.

The bill has been referred to the Homeland Security Committee. To date no hearings have been held. Washington observers believe the bill will not move in committee as long as airports continue to voluntarily develop their own individual security plans. However, high visibility examples of security breeches could put the bill on a fast track. Sweeney’s office cited the recent example of an alleged theft of a Cessna Citation in Florida as an example of his concern.

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