Going behind the gate at the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) general aviation facility after April 1 will require an escort or special clearance from the Transportation Security Administration, reported Sue Book in the Feb. 17 issue of the New Bern Sun Journal. The new rules require that anyone using the facility pass a TSA threat assessment and receive a special picture identification card, said April Hill of the airport’s staff.
Hill said the requirements apply to pilots and aircraft owners, staff, vendors, and anyone using the facility for any purpose. Those who already have gate passes can have the new designation on the flip side once they get TSA clearance, she explained. Tom Braaten, airport director, said Hill has been working to get the clearance application forms from those who will need it them.
Hill said those applying need two photo IDs and must provide their names, any aliases they have used, general biographical information, and say whether they have been convicted of a felony. Fingerprinting is not required at EWN, although the TSA has insisted on fingerprinting at other airports, such as Birmingham-Shuttlesworth in Alabama.
The TSA recently issued a security directive (SD-8F) which, in effect, changed the rules overnight on who needs to have a badge at airports regulated by the agency, bypassing the usual regulatory process by issuing it as a directive. “No comment, no objection, just comply,” said Craig Spence, vice president for aviation security at AOPA. “It’s having ripple effects throughout the country as airports attempt to comply with the new requirements.”
Contacts at the TSA refused to release SD-8F to General Aviation News, on the premise that the publication “is not the regulated party.”
Back at Coastal Carolina Regional, airport authority member John Price asked airport director Braaten, “Who’s paying for this?” Braaten replied, “We are,” meaning the airport authority.