A British pilot is suing the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, asking them to reveal why they think he’s a possible “threat to aviation or national security.”
Robert Gray has been flying for Cape Air, a regional airline based in Massachusetts, for eight years. When offered a job with a charter airline, he applied for clearance to fly larger airplanes – a requirement for non-U.S. citizen pilots under Homeland Security rules. His application was denied, but TSA refuses to say why, citing security issues. Gray appealed the ruling but the appeal was denied, also for security reasons. TSA is judge and jury in these cases. There is no appeal to other courts.
A pilot familiar with the case told General Aviation News that U.S. Customs had described Gray to TSA as “Hispanic.” Gray is a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland.