GA Gives TSA An Earful Over LASP The Transportation Security Administration wrapped up the public hearings into its highly controversial Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) with a fifth and final session in Houston today (following a similar session in Chicago last week) and TSA reps heard more of the same from the GA community. In fact, if anything, rather than calm the waters, the hearings appear to have whipped up even more opposition to the plan, which would mandate airline-style security procedures for aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds.
“In this brutal economy, everyone in every corner of general aviation will be impacted if this plan is enacted without significant changes,” NBAA President Ed Bolen told the attendess at the Chicago meeting. But while much of the focus has been on the impact on flight operations, hundreds of airports, some of which only occasionally see aircraft that big, will have to be set up to handle the security. The TSA has compiled a list of airports that will be required to establish formal security procedures for larger GA aircraft, and it’s a long one. (Click here to view the list as a PDF.)
Opponents of the proposal say many of the airports will be unable to fund the security apparatus and will be unavailable to larger private aircraft, reducing the utility that is the chief appeal of private air travel. NBAA wants a rule-making committee established to review private aircraft security instead of the existing rule-making process.