Friday, January 19, 2007

Here we go, again...

Using the most of reverse logic, West Virginia's Junior Senator wants GA to suffer the same inept, inefficient, ineffective security oversight as airline passengers endure. From ANN:

TSA Says 'More Robust' Security Plan For GA On The Way

Lawmakers Ask TSA To Step Up Inspections Of Private Planes

In what may prove an ominous precursor for general aviation (GA), Senator Jay Rockefeller told TSA chief Kip Hawley in front of a congressional committee small private planes should undergo the same security checks as commercial airliners.

"We're not taking the lessons of 9/11 seriously," Rockefeller said. "There is nothing written... that small planes can't do catastrophic damage."

Using the example of October's tragic accident in which New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor Tyler Stanger died after flying an SR20 into a Manhattan hi-rise, Rockefeller warned Hawley small airplanes can cause significant damage. The senator suggested the TSA beef up its staff and devote more resources to GA.

According to, Hawley said the TSA is "looking at steps" as regards GA, and that "a more robust plan" is on the way.

Considering the relatively light damage caused by Lidle's Cirrus in October compared to the loss of both towers of the World Trade Center, its hard to see exactly how Rockefeller can call it "catastrophic."

AOPA has worked closely with the FAA, the Department of Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies in developing its Airport Watch program, hailed by all involved as a model of government and public cooperation. The few simple guidelines suggested by the program provide airport and aircraft owners and operators specific steps that can drastically improve security at even the busiest general aviation airports.

Without dramatically altering the way most private aircraft owners operate their aircraft from the thousands of rural and privately-owned airports across the country, it would be impossible for GA flights to receive security checks similar to commercial airliners as Rockefeller suggests.

So what exactly does TSA have in mind to "improve" GA security?

ANN will post more information on this developing story as it becomes available.




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