Editor’s Note: This web site is dedicated to California Aviation, however this ill conceived proposed bill would negatively affect every aviation enthusiast in the United States. The EAA wants all aviation enthusiasts to contact their Congressional representatives and strongly oppose a newly introduced bill by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
H.R. 5035 would require the Department of Homeland Security to create a method of screening all passengers and property on each flight of all passenger aircraft in the US, including general aviation aircraft of all types. It would also prohibit any non-airline aircraft from flying within 1,500 feet of any structure or building, and prohibit non-airline aircraft from flying over any US city with a population of 1 million or more. It would further require that pilots of all aircraft in US airspace remain in contact with the Federal Aviation Administration, presumably by radio, regardless of altitude or location.
“The extreme shortsightedness of this bill speaks for itself and completely counters the government’s own security experts, who have continually stated that general aviation does not pose a significant security threat to the US,” said Doug Macnair, EAA’s vice president of government relations. “It’s sad that the solemn anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is being used to introduce this bill, which does nothing to enhance security and smacks of election-year grandstanding.”
With 17,000 landing facilities and nearly 200,000 aircraft in the United States, EAA maintains that it is inconceivable that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FAA could ever fund and administer such a plan. DHS and the Transportation Security Administration have repeatedly indicated that general aviation does not warrant such levels of security when compared to other transportation modes and threats.
“We as a nation need to focus our limited resources on the most serious vulnerabilities and threats to our security,” Macnair added. “TSA has made extensive studies of those threats and nowhere has that agency ever suggested such Draconian measures as those proposed in this bill.”