WASHINGTON, D.C. — The chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Security Committee and the president and CEO of Jeppesen, Mark Van Tine, testified today before the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security regarding the authorization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Van Tine reminded the subcommittee how the GA industry has worked to increase security and awareness of potential threats to the aviation system. These efforts have led to the development and implementation of over a dozen mandatory and voluntary security initiatives. These include enhanced pilot licenses, the Twelve-Five Security Standard Security program, and the “See Something, Say Something” program and its predecessor “Airport Watch.”
To promote further security improvements and for increased operational efficiencies, Van Tine addressed several areas where GAMA believes the committee should focus their efforts.
The Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) was first published in 2008 and it is the TSA’s first attempt at regulating private air travel. Since the introduction of LASP, the TSA and industry have agreed upon a framework that will address legitimate security risks while ensuring the rights of citizens to fly their own airplanes. “We have made good progress on LASP and appreciate the strong support from members of Congress who have recognized our concerns and urged TSA to develop a more practical and effective approach,” said Van Tine. “GAMA asks that the administration move quickly to incorporate the industry’s input and finalize this rulemaking as it will enhance security without creating negative consequences for pilots and operators.”
Like the LASP, Van Tine also took the opportunity to encourage the completion of aircraft repair station security rulemaking. “GAMA has stressed the importance of a risk-based program for repair stations and underscored the effect inaction has upon exports of U.S. products and expansion into new markets. This is especially important since the majority of airplane and equipment sales are to foreign customers. It is imperative for the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security to move forward and complete this rulemaking,” said Van Tine.
Van Tine also spoke about the TSA’s use of security directives to vastly expand existing security requirements without consideration of the implementation challenges, operational impacts and economic burdens these mandates impose on the aviation industry. “We recognize and respect TSA’s authority to issue security directives, however, we do not believe that TSA should use them to make standing policy unless there is a compelling and immediate national security risk that warrants them. This is an issue of great concern to the general aviation community and we urge Congress to implement procedures for the review of security directives that are not temporary in nature,” concluded Van Tine.
View a full copy of the written testimony here.