Who Works for Who?

Can you feel it? There seems to be change in the air. Maybe it is more than just a feeling.

Change isn’t always easy, and as a result many don’t like it. I tend to find change to be a good thing, especially in this case given what the citizens of our country have had to endure due to criminal mismanagement and outright greed over the past few years.

Elected and public officials are now feeling increased pressure and rightly so. And, it extends to state and local government too. The good news is that the populace is asking questions, and now, demanding answers. That is good news, and we can not let up. As a country, we recently experienced what happens when we trust them without checks and balances.

Given the pressure and because of the new found scrutiny that many elected and public officials have been under lately, they are now being forced to do the job they were put in place to do.

Accountability is becoming a key catch phrase and a requirement that we are now hearing not only from politicians, but much more importantly and actually believable I might add, from our citizens and non-profit watchdog groups (one could call CALPILOTS a Watchdog Group for airports). That is good news for all of us, and we need to get on the band wagon demanding accountability from our elected and public officials.  We can not afford to let up.

If you have read this column over the last few years than you know that one wouldn’t classify me as a fan of certain government processes and actions. The target of my criticism has always been the top managers in the public sector and higher level elected officials. That is, the officials in charge, as well as those positioning themselves to take over.

This discussion of government, and it’s affects on general aviation, brings me to the Department of Homeland Security’s TSA. And when TSA comes to mind, it appears to be a bureaucracy agency out of control. Example: Their ill conceived Large Aircraft Security Plan LASP, and the secret security directive SD-08 prove they have no idea what general aviation is about, or how it works. Instead, they used the same broad brush to try to implement airline type security proposals, costing thousands, without of course, any plan for funding them.

To me this proves is that general aviation representation was not involved when these procedures were drafted. Instead, DoHS – TSA worked on their own, in a vacuum without any consideration how their onerous procedures would affect the general aviation community, or the businesses and the communities that depend upon it. Is TSA really this clueless, or are they simply used to doing whatever they want? I would suggest it is the latter.

The good news is that GA as a whole has responded and is fighting back. If you check out our web site you will find numerous articles which are less than favorable regarding TSA’s latest efforts against GA. EAA has made their position very clear. AOPA has avid pilot Harrison Ford, in a spokesperson and ambassador role for GA on their new web site GAServesAmerica.com. NBAA is also taking an assertive role against the various TSA proposals too.

CALPILOTS has also written a letter against TSA’s proposals. Still, we need more help from all of you. You need to contact your congressional representative and demand action.

Tell your representative why TSA’s proposals will be detrimental to GA. It might not be a bad idea to remind them of who works for whom either.  That seems to regularly get lost on them every few years.

Join the movement. Act now or live with TSA’s ill conceived proposals. Check our web site for an example letter and contact information.  It is time to say “No” to TSA’s GA proposals – they work for us, not the other way around.

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