Proposed New TSA Leader Lauded by Aviation Groups

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the National Air Transportation Association have both gone on record supporting President Obama's choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration. Erroll Southers, who previously served as California's deputy director of homeland security, is a former FBI agent, who currently serves as assistant chief for the Office of Homeland Security and Intelligence at the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department. Southers is also associate director of the University of Southern California's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events. He had previously held the title there of adjunct professor of terrorism, homeland security and public policy. NATA president James Coyne said, "NATA looks forward to working with Mr. Southers on critical security issues facing the general aviation industry and the airline services community." AOPA president Craig Fuller echoed the sentiment, saying he looks forward to "continuing dialog with the administrator once he takes office … to make sure the TSA recognizes the nation's pilot population as an asset in its ongoing efforts to enhance security."