TSA’s Proposal for GA Draws New Fire

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) maintains that its Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) was drawn up with input from the industry it is meant to address. The overwhelming majority of some 4,800 respondents disagreed, and expressed their opinions during the proposal's public comment period. LASP aims to set airline-style security procedures for general aviation aircraft that exceed 12,500 pounds. First floated in 2007, withdrawn, and resubmitted last year, the LASP proposal's comment period ended February 27. The security agency is now attempting to catalog and review the comments it received. Critics contend that the terms of the proposal add little to aviation security while hobbling general aviation operations. Among those critics is Representative Bennie Thompson (D- Miss.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Thompson wrote, in a letter to the TSA, that elements of the LASP proposal: "appear to be problematic, unfeasible, or overly burdensome to industry." He continued: "The committee is also concerned that the formulation [of the LASP notice of proposed rulemaking] was not based on a threat and risk methodology process tailored to the general aviation environment."

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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