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Bolen: General Aviation Will Be Overwhelmed by TSA Proposal
As Proposed, 'LASP' Could Be Ruinous to Economically Challenged GA Community
Washington, DC, January 23, 2009 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today reiterated the potentially ruinous effect that the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) could have, not only on small and mid-size businesses that rely on their aircraft to weather the current unforgiving economic storm, but on the general aviation (GA) community as a whole.
"The TSA's proposal would overwhelm businesses, airports and others across the general aviation community, at a time when it is beset with challenges in the current marketplace," Bolen said. "Equally unfortunate, the burden the proposal would produce would not result in a clear security benefit."
Bolen offered his comments to TSA officials at the agency's fourth hearing on this proposal, which would impose sweeping new security requirements on all general aviation aircraft weighing 12,500 lbs. or more. Airports serving those aircraft would also be subject to provisions in the TSA proposal.
"In this brutal economy, everyone in every corner of general aviation will be impacted if this plan is enacted without significant changes," Bolen continued, noting by way of illustration that if companies sell their airplanes because of the TSA rules, general aviation airports, FBOs, maintenance providers and others would suffer from the resulting loss of business.
Bolen noted that since the TSA introduced the LASP last October, the proposal has been met with a strong response from the industry. Representatives from across the general aviation community have crammed into TSA hearings to directly voice their concerns with agency officials. An outpouring of commentary from NBAA Members has been submitted to the government's public docket. NBAA Members have used the Association's Contact Congress resource to send messages from across the country to elected officials in opposition to the TSA's plan.
"While security is among the highest priorities for the business aviation community, we must bring some sanity to this proposal," Bolen said, renewing his call for the formation of an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).
"An ARC would promote a dialogue between industry stakeholders and government that would focus on effective approaches to security enhancements," Bolen said. "It would be a good step toward ensuring that we get it right in determining a final rule."
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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association, Inc. (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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