Letters to Media

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Letter to CNN's Larry King Live

Mr. John Gilmore
Senior Producer
CNN, Larry King Live
820 1st St NE
Washington, DC 20002-4243

August 17, 2006

Dear Mr. Gilmore:

The segment on security that aired on Larry King Live on Monday, Aug. 14, was irresponsible in its lack of balance in discussing general aviation (GA) security. No organization representing general aviation was included to provide any facts about what has been, and continues to be done to harden general aviation from terrorist threats. As a result, key facts about GA security were ignored in favor of sensationalist comments from only one source, and the industry as a whole was mischaracterized.

Security is a top priority for general aviation. Since 9/11, the industry has worked extensively with the federal government in adopting a host of mandatory and voluntary security measures. For instance, charter flights have security requirements comparable to those for the commercial airlines. General aviation pilots and aircraft owners are vetted against terrorist watch lists, and pilots are required to hold tamper-proof ID issued by the government. General aviation airports have “Airport Watch” programs in place, with a toll-free number for reporting suspicious activity to federal security officials.

These and other security protocols, which have been highlighted in reports from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, ensure that GA airports, aircraft and aircrews are secure. However, they are not measures easily observed by a quick visit to Van Nuys, or other GA airports, or “man-on-the-street” interviews, because they are covert security techniques based on alerts and threat intelligence provided through the Federal Aviation Administration or Transportation Security Administration.

Because none of this was explained in your Aug. 14 segment, NBAA requests the opportunity to present a full picture of GA security with an interview that includes business aviation.

Sincerely,
Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association