WASHINGTON, D.C. — While aviation groups here are seeking to reduce the way general aviation pilots are stopped for questioning about possible terror flights, at the same time a powerful Senator was declaring concern about gaps in GA security.
In his opening statement at a Senate aviation subcommittee hearing April 30 about scheduled airline service to small and rural airports, Sen. John “Jay” Rockefeller (D-W.Va) reiterated his concern about general aviation.
“I continue to be concerned about gaps in general aviation security,” he said.
We should not forget, he added, that a private plane could wreak just as much terror as a commercial jetliner.
Just a few miles away from Capitol Hill, Mark Baker, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, was meeting with the head of Customs and Border Protection, stating that “egregious encounters with general aviation aircraft must end.”
Baker said there should be probable cause or a reasonable suspicion of illegal activity before CBP can stop or encounter general aviation aircraft.
Resolving the problems general aviation has apparently will not be easy. Rockefeller said in the 13 years since the Transportation Security Administration was created, “we have learned overall security in all transportation systems are not becoming easier to overcome.”