The Transportation Security Administration has created a new position for a general aviation liaison, and named Juan Barnes to the post. Barnes will be available via e-mail to address the public’s concerns about security measures that impact GA operations. AOPA says questions may be submitted to Barnes via the e-mail address TSAGeneralAviation@dhs.gov.
AOPA will automatically be carbon-copied. “General aviation stakeholders are encouraged to submit inquiries regarding TSA programs, policies and security directives,” wrote Barnes in a letter to GA stakeholders. “Your inquiry will be reviewed, and forwarded to the appropriate office and personnel within TSA to ensure a prompt and accurate response. Our goal is to provide responses to inquiries within two business days.”
The TSA also will address concerns in monthly teleconferences with stakeholders beginning this Friday, March 20, at 1 p.m. AOPA said it will participate in the teleconferences, during which TSA officials will answer questions submitted previously by e-mail. “AOPA has long been working to bring member concerns to the attention of the TSA,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of aviation security. “With this new avenue of communication, we can bypass some of the roadblocks that have been there in the past and help the TSA understand more clearly the heavy toll some of its proposals could take on GA.” Several recent TSA actions, such as the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program and certain procedures that were incorrectly applied to GA operations, have alarmed many in the GA community. The new liaison is intended to address concerns and to close the information gap between the TSA and those affected by its policies, AOPA said.
Editor’s Note: It is likely that the TSA has now determined that they must include GA in the planning process, or they will loose support from Congress. Wouldn’t it have been much easire just to do so from the very beginning?