The TSA has released a 260 page proposal aimed at general aviation aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds which outlines the security requirements desired for over 10,000 aircraft operators and hundreds of general aviation airports.
Under the proposal flight crews would be required to be fingerprinted and subject to background checks, passengers would be checked against terrorist watch lists and security requirements would be imposed on general aviation airports.
Both the AOPA and the EAA are alarmed by these new proposals which compel operators of large vintage aircraft, turboprops, war birds and other aircraft weighing over 12,500 pounds to comply with budensome and costly requirements which simply do not equate to the assessed risks posed by such aircraft.
In addition, the proposal does not take into account that most of the private operators of these aircraft are already knowledgeable about who their passengers are. Further, there have been no attempts by terrorists to target general aviation aircraft to be used as aerial bombs as most do not rise to the same level of risk as large commercial aircraft because they don't carry as much fuel and therefore would not be useful in targeting large buildings or groups of people.
I recall that many years ago the Empire State building was struck by a B-25 which, while it caused some damage to the building, did not bring the building down like the twin towers which were struck by large commercial jet aircraft.
Again, as we are looking at electing a new president we all need to decide whether we want a president who will be more inclined to increased regulation and imposition of rules and taxes on general aviation operations, or a president who is more inclined towards self regulation and less government intrusion into our lives.
I don't know about you Hersch, but I am for less government and more freedom. How we got here is something that should concern all of us involved in general aviation. Any of us who have travelled where we needed to deal with the TSA should be alarmed at how large this government organization has become and how intrusive it has become in our air travel experiences today.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
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