General aviation airport inspections and the TSA

In my previous post I covered what an agent of the TSA could “request” of a general aviator. Because the article was so regulation intense, I sent an early draft to the TSA’s Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs for comment. They afforded me the courtesy of a review with useful comments by my requested deadline. Thank you.

I want to share two comments from my reviewer that go further into TSA authority and assistance. The first comment pertains to the authority of the TSA to conduct airport inspections. The second deals with a useful resource that’s been around a while, but is still worthy of mention.

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Of airport BBQs and the TSA

I am partial to barbeques, so when I received a recent invitation to go to a local airport and enjoy a free barbeque lunch and escape the office, I jumped at the opportunity.

I had the pleasure of enjoying my pulled-pork sandwich and iced tea with some local aviators that call the airport home. The opportunity to sit outside, talk about airplanes, and swap flying stories was a like a breath of fresh air. It sure beats reading intelligence reports and legislative proposals!

While my lunch buddies and I took turns swapping stories, one told me that a pair of officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had been walking around and asking questions at the airport recently. According to my picnic tablemate, the single biggest question posed by the agents was why airplanes didn’t have propeller locks installed when they were parked behind locked hangar doors. I was more concerned about why the two were there in the first place and that my lunch buddy somehow felt compelled to answer their questions.

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NAFI requests TSA regulation change

The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) has submitted a request to the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to consider a change to the current Regulation Title 49, Part 1552.23 with regard to the recurrent training requirements for “flight schools.” The proposal would allow flight instructors — which by TSA definition are considered “flight schools” — to bring the timing of their Flight School Security Awareness Training, which is completed yearly, in line with the currency requirements of their flight instructor certificates.

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TSA comment period closes March 1

Do you know about 49 CFR 1552? This regulation deals with alien flight training and flight school security awareness training and is one of the few federal security regulations that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration requires compliance from general aviation. Are you interested in submitting your comments to the TSA and the Office of Management and Budget concerning this training? Now’s your chance.

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Agreement for general aviation security renewed

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently approved a five-year extension of its partnership with National Air Transportation Association Compliance Services (NATACS) to provide security in the general aviation sector.

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Coming clean in the TSA era

Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.

The conversation turned to the TSA at my morning coffee gathering today. Pretty much everyone at the table flies for business or pleasure, at least occasionally. So it is no wonder that scattered amongst the chatter about local, state, and federal government shenanigans, the recently implemented grope-fest going on at airports all across the United States should come up.

Opinions differed as to how each person felt about the latest security measures. Eventually the focus shifted to me, the pilot in the group. Which caused me to admit publicly what I seldom speak of. The truth is this: I don’t fly commercial. Not ever. Not for any reason. I just don’t. [Read more...]

‘General Aviators Seek More Collaboration with TSA’

Homeland Security Today reports that “a Homeland Security appropriations bill before the Senate Tuesday would push the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to consider flexibility in security mandates for general aviation operators, which have come under increasing scrutiny since last year.”

From the same story…

Meanwhile, general aviation likely will continue to face heightened scrutiny by TSA because the agency last year boosted its General Aviation staff in its Office of Transportation Sector Network Management from a handful to several dozen, Jens Hennig, GAMA vice president of operations said.