DHS Secretary Napolitano, TSA Administrator Pistole Visit AirVenture

A new general aviation security initiative was unveiled yesterday at EAA AirVenture. And the electronic filing system for international general aviation flights has been streamlined. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security joined newly confirmed Administrator John Pistole of the Transportation Security Administration in outlining the new programs. The so-called 'See Something, Say Something' program is an extension of a plan that originated in New York, and is credited with contributing to the successful foiling of a car bomb attack on Times Square. The program is funded by a $13 million grant from the DHS Transit Security Grant Program, and the general aviation branch of the program is the second target after the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The gist of the program is to encourage pilots and other citizens to report suspicious activity at airports — either by calling 911 if the threat appears to be immediate, or calling a national toll-free number (866-GA SECURE or 866-427-3287) for less immediate issues of security. Also, Napolitano said operators may now submit a single manifest tor the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) to cover their responsibilities with both TSA and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). At AirVenture, Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association said the announcement bodes well for operators who have been frustrated with the two government agencies' lack of coordination in the past when it comes to dealing with international flights. "These two new security enhancements reflect an understanding of how our industry operates and also how government and industry can enhance security without sacrificing mobility," said Bolen.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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