GA Brain Trust Fights Back on TSA Badge Mandate

Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano got an earful from no fewer than five general aviation groups. The aviation groups were unified in their resistance to the Transportation Security Administration's plan to require badges for GA pilots to access certain areas of airports where there is airline service. Each airport would be responsible for establishing and administering its own badge program; and no uniform set of guidelines has been put forward by the TSA, which answered criticism by suggesting each airport could establish its own 'alternate means' of compliance. Set to go into effect on Monday, the rule is roundly criticized as fraught with ambiguities, yet carries the potential for heavy fines for offenders who may have no way of knowing that they have broken the rules. The leaders of five organizations signed a letter to Napolitano that requests the rule be withdrawn until the security agency can better assess a more realistic approach to GA security. Groups whose leaders signed the letter include AOPA, EAA, NBAA, the National Air Transportation Association and the National Association of State Aviation Officials. Click here to read the letter.

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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