December 29, 2008

The TSA will begin a series of public hearings next week concerning its planned LASP, with the first scheduled for January 6, at Westchester County Airport (HPN) in New York. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen will testify along with other representatives from many aviation associations and operators from the local area. The TSA has asked to hear from the public on a number of specific issues, which will help determine the final outcome of the proposal. Members planning to provide oral testimony will be required to sign in upon arrival. Registration will be available as early as 8:00 a.m. local time, but oral testimony will continue throughout the day to give as many attendees as possible the opportunity to testify.

Jan 6, 2009 White Plains, NY: Westchester County Airport (HPN), Building 1 Airport Road, White Plains, NY 10604
Jan 8, 2009 Atlanta, GA: Renaissance Concourse Hotel Atlanta Airport, One Hartsfield Centre Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30354
Jan 16, 2009 Chicago, IL: Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare Hotel, 5440 North River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018;
Jan 23, 2009 Burbank CA: Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel, 2500 North Hollywood Way, Burbank CA, 91505
Jan 28, 2009 Houston, TX: Conference Center, Hilton Houston Hotel- North Greenspoint, 12400 Greenspoint Drive, Houston, TX 77060

In advance of the public meetings, TSA has identified several areas where comments from the industry are desired. These key issues are designed to focus public comments on the topics that TSA must consider to complete its review of the LASP proposal. Individuals planning to make comments at the public meeting are encouraged to review these issues in advance.

According to the procedures established by TSA for the public meetings, individuals wishing to speak will be limited to a three minute statement scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon arriving at the meeting site, individuals must register with TSA in order to make comments during the meeting.

The specific areas of the LASP proposal identified by TSA are:

  1. The weight threshold of aircraft covered by the proposed rule.
  2. The phased approach in the implementation of the proposed rule and the determination of which phase would be applicable to each large aircraft operator.
  3. The security threat assessment (STA) requirements, including the transferability of STAs for flight crew members and whether a proprietor, general partner, officer, director, or owner of aircraft operators should undergo a STA
  4. Methods for positively identifying pilots and effectively linking them to the aircraft they are operating
  5. The watch list service provider (WLSP) requirement, including comments on the WLSP’s system security plan, the role that watch-list service providers may continue to have if the responsibility for watch-list matching shifts to the U.S. Government in the future, whether there should be a limitation of the number of entities that would be approved as a WSLP, and whether WLSP covered personnel should be limited only to U.S. citizens, nationals or lawful permanent residents.
  6. Whether TSA should establish a minimum time for submission of passenger information to the service providers, what that minimum time should be, and the reasons supporting the suggested minimum time.
  7. Whether full program aircraft operators should be permitted to conduct their own audit and/or watch list matching on flights operated under their LASP.
  8. Proposed privacy notice requirement.
  9. The third party auditor requirement, including the establishment of a system of assigning auditors and methods of doing so, qualifications of auditors, and conflict of interests and independence issues affecting an auditor.
  10. Whether certain large aircraft operators (for instance, operators that are not carrying persons or property for compensation or hire or with aircraft having a MTOW of more than 45,500 kg) should have a different requirement as to what weapons are prohibited (for example, limit the prohibited items to only guns and firearms).
  11. The requirement for security coordinator, including the use of a single individual for multiple security coordinator roles.
  12. Whether any other types of airport should be covered by a security program.
  13. Amendment of the partial program or the supporting program for airports.
  14. Applicability of the proposed rule to fractional ownership operations.
  15. Qualifications of individuals who would be exempted from liability under the voluntary provision of emergency services.
  16. The burden estimates, estimated costs of compliance, estimates regarding the small entities affected, and economic impact on the newly-regulated entities.