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NBAA Welcomes TSA Decision to Reconsider Operation Playbook
TSA’s Move Follows Concerns Voiced by Association to Agency Officials
Washington, DC, March 13, 2009 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed a recent decision by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to significantly change “Operation Playbook,” a controversial security program for general aviation facilities at airports introduced through a pilot program last year.
“NBAA has raised significant concerns with TSA officials over the application of Operation Playbook, including some of the actions taken by local federal security directors at airport general aviation facilities,” said Doug Carr, NBAA vice president, safety, security & regulation. “TSA indicated that changes to the Playbook were underway, and the updated version being introduced by the agency should reflect the concerns we raised.”
The TSA developed Operation Playbook with the intention of enhancing security at airports by adding unpredictability and flexibility to security initiatives. The program, which incorporated airport officials and local law enforcement personnel, was introduced at several airports, including Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Pittsburgh International, St. Louis Lambert, Ronald Reagan Washington National and Columbus International.
When the TSA’s federal security directors attempted to implement Operation Playbook at all airports, the effort was met with skepticism by NBAA Members and others because of concerns over the scope, requirements and method of implementation for the plan. After NBAA and others expressed the concerns raised with TSA officials, the plan was withdrawn.
The re-worked plan is optional, although the TSA encourages airports wishing to participate to sign a memorandum of agreement outlining the security responsibilities of TSA officials and local airport personnel.
“Broadly speaking, the Playbook is a confidential document, so the TSA won’t be sharing with us any specific changes to the portions of the plan that concern general aviation,” Carr continued. “However, the agency has been responsive to our communications on this issue to date, and we are hopeful that the changes made to Operation Playbook will reduce the level of concern over the plan felt by many in the business aviation community. We will continue to remain vigilant on this issue, and we would ask our Members to do likewise by reporting to NBAA any unusual TSA activity at airports.”
NBAA Members with inquiries about the TSA’s Operation Playbook can contact Steve Brown, the Association’s senior vice president, operations & administration, at [email protected].
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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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