New House Budget Bill Would De-Fang LASP, Resuscitate Loran

Last Week, the House passed its appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) 2010 budget. As part of the bill, the DHS would require the resubmission of a new notice of proposed rulemaking by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to replace the so-called Large Aircraft Security Program or LASP. Another provision of the finance bill would continue to fund the loran system as an alternate to GPS. Loran had been placed on the budget chopping block by the Obama Administration. Roundly criticized by general aviation advocates during a comment period, TSA's original LASP proposal would have imposed airline-type security measures on all aircraft greater than 12,500 pounds, a cutoff that would have included many business jets. The House commended the TSA for its responsiveness in working with GA stakeholders. Rep. David Price (D- NC), chairman of the House's homeland security subcommittee of the appropriations committee, asked the TSA to "weigh all the costs and benefits associated with new security mandates for general aviation operators and airports." Similar language has been promulgated for the Senate version of the appropriations bill, also supporting a more reasoned approach to general aviation operations.

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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