U.S. BizAv Security Proposal Remains In Play

Jan 27, 2009
Benet Wilson benet_wilson@aviationweek.com

A White House memo calling for a freeze and review of proposed regulatory changes may not apply to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP).

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel issued the memorandum Jan. 20 ordering all U.S. government agencies "to stop implementing any pending rules and regulations issued by the Bush Administration until the Obama Administration has an opportunity to review and sign off on them."

A subsequent memo released by Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Jan. 21 to its members stated that Emanuel's memorandum will result in a temporary withdrawal of the LASP until it has been reviewed by representatives of the Obama Administration.

But the memorandum does not apply to LASP because it is still in the comment period, said TSA spokesman Christopher White. The last of five hearings on the controversial measure will be held in Houston tomorrow.

"TSA officials told us the memo does not impact the current comment and public hearing schedule previously set by TSA," said Doug Carr, vice president, safety, security and regulation for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). "NBAA is proceeding as though nothing has changed. We'll keep working to bring sanity to the TSA's plan, and we need NBAA members to continue speaking out as well."

Meanwhile, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kans.) sent a letter yesterday to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging her to reconsider LASP. "We are concerned that adoption of many of the proposed measures by TSA would create significant operational burdens to many of America's businesses that rely on general aviation aircraft to do business across the state, country or world," said the letter. "Without changes to the current notice of proposed rulemaking, the TSA proposal could make it nearly impossible for some aircraft to operate at all."

Photo: Cessna

AVIATION WEEK Copyright 2009, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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