After news broke last week of the Transportation Security Administration‘s unauthorized inspections of pilots, employees and baggage at airports in Florida, Tennessee and Georgia, concern about TSA plans for random screening at general aviation FBOs has grown.
On Feb. 10, what turned out to be a law enforcement training session at San Diego Montgomery Field exacerbated GA concerns about TSA inspections, which are perceived as efforts to claim that general aviation security is weak, contrary to all publicly-known evidence and earlier statements made by TSA, itself.
A TSA document called the Playbook apparently – it’s labeled Secret, so ordinary citizens don’t know – outlines new procedures for random screenings at general aviation facilities. NBAA and a grassroots organization called Stop LASP have expressed concerns, publicly and to Congress, about Playbook-related actions.
At San Diego, some 15 officials from local police departments and Immigration and Customs Enforcement but, as was revealed later, none from TSA, asked to check pilot documents on the ramp at one of the Montgomery FBOs. None of the law enforcement people boarded any airplanes, although they did ask to see aircraft registration and airworthiness certificates, according to several reports reaching GeneralAviationNews.com.