Commemorative Air Force (CAF) President and CEO Stephan Brown has met with Congressional lawmakers to discuss the concerns of vintage, historic and military aircraft operators and general aviation over the Transportation Security Administration’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP).
U.S. Representative Sam Graves (R-6-MO) invited Brown and other aviation industry representatives to talk with Members of Congress about the impact the TSA’s controversial LASP proposal could have on operators of large historic aircraft.
“Although the impact on business aviation and small companies is profound, the impact upon 501c3 non-profit organizations, such as CAF, is also very damaging,” Brown said. “We wanted the Members of Congress to understand how detrimental this program could be to our member volunteers as well as to other vintage aviation organizations across the country.”
Graves and all of the Congressional members nodded in apparent agreement when Brown spoke of the thousands of man hours and millions of dollars donated by CAF members to “keep our proud aircraft heroes flying, so that future generations could understand the sacrifice made by American men and women in the defense of our country.”
Graves pointed out the dramatic impact that LASP could have upon the income brought to small communities around the country by local air shows, from large scale events such as EAA AirVenture to smaller, community-based events such as the FINA-CAF AIRSHO at Midland, Texas.
Other facets of general aviation would be harmed dramatically by the LASP, according to testimony from other associations such as National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
“We are hopeful that the TSA would not develop security measures, involving aviation, without including general aviation associations to help them understand the impact upon, and the specific needs of, this industry,” Brown said. “We will continue to raise our concerns with lawmakers and the new Administration.”
Along with Graves, Representatives Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-3-GA), Thomas Petri (R-6-WI) and Todd Tiahrt (R-4-KS) participated in the roundtable. All appeared greatly concerned and vowed to work towards establishing communication with the TSA, Brown said after the meeting.
For information: www.commemorativeairforce.org