On Nov. 16, 2001, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) was enacted, creating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and transferring aviation security functions from the FAA to the TSA. Section 132(a) of ATSA required the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security to “implement a security program for charter air carriers… with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more.
On Feb. 22, 2002, a final rule was published in the Federal Register that required that “certain aircraft operators using aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more carry out security measures.” The rule also required that “certain aircraft operators conduct criminal history records checks on their flightcrew members, and restrict access to the flight deck.” The “certain aircraft operators” were defined as those conducting operations “in scheduled or charter service, carrying passengers or cargo or both…” The program that outlines the security measures and requirements for these operators is known as the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP).
In June 2004, the TSA released a “technical change” in TFSSP applicability that excludes aircraft weighing 12,500 pounds or less from having to participate in the TFSSP. The TFSSP “is applicable to scheduled and charter (passenger and cargo) operations to, from, within, or outside the United States that use aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight (MTOW) of more than 12,500 pounds.”
Operators who are no longer required to participate in the TFSSP should notify their TSA Principal Security Inspector (PSI) to be properly removed from the TSA database.
How to Request the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program
Those that operate a charter using aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of more than 12,500 pounds, should request a program by contacting the TSA Principal Security Specialist (PSS) for their home base of operations. Operators may call or email their TSA PSS.
If sending an email, type “TFSSP Request” in the subject line. When requesting the TFSSP, be prepared to provide:
- Your company name (including any dba) and four letter designator
- The name, title, and phone numbers of your security contact person
- Your FAX number and email address
- The name and work phone number of your POI
After the PSS receives your request he will verify your information by contacting your POI. Once your information is verified the TSA will send you a blank non-disclosure agreement along with a copy of 49 CFR 1520, which regulates the handling and protection of sensitive security information. You will read the regulation, sign the non-disclosure form and send it to the TSA. After the TSA receives the non-disclosure form, you will be sent a username and password with instructions on how to download the TFSSP from the TSA’s web site.
Some points to consider during this process include:
- Returning your original signed non-disclosure agreement to TSA as quickly as possible will expedite your receipt of the TFSSP.
- Provide the name and telephone number of your FAA Principal Operations Inspector.
- Spell out any long or difficult names.
- Speak clearly and concisely, as TSA must transcribe the entire message.
TSA Notice to Twelve-Five Operators Regarding Contractors/Vendors
On Friday, May 2, 2003, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a notice for operators regulated under the TFSSP. The TSA states that it has received requests from several aircraft operators to approve contractors and vendors for the development and/or conduct training on their behalf. TSA does not endorse any particular training contractor or vendor, but will allow the aircraft operator to use contractors and vendors subject to four conditions.
NOTICE: TO TWELVE-FIVE OPERATORS
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has received requests from several aircraft operators to approve contractors and vendors for the development and/or conduct training on their behalf. TSA does not endorse any particular training contractor or vendor, but will allow the aircraft operator to use contractors and vendors subject to the following conditions:
1. It is the sole responsibility of aircraft operators to ensure the training provided meets the minimum TFSSP requirements as prescribed in outlines and other guidance provided by TSA.
2. Aircraft operators may only provide training contractors or vendors with sensitive security information (SSI) necessary to complete the development or conduct of training. Aircraft operators may not provide training contractors or vendors the entire TFSSP, or access to the ACO500 webboard. Aircraft operators are fully responsible for all sensitive security information (SSI) released to training contractors and vendors and should provide SSI information on a need-to-know basis only.
3. Aircraft operators must ensure that each employee of the contractor or vendor that is involved with the development or conduct of training and has access to SSI provides valid identification as described in the TFSSP, and that those employees’ names are also checked against the current No-Fly list. Access to SSI must be revoked to any employee whose name appears on the No-Fly list (and that employee is prohibited from continuing to work on behalf of the aircraft operator) until cleared in accordance with procedures prescribed in the TFSSP for clearing persons prior to boarding an aircraft.
4. Aircraft operators must ensure that each employee of the contractor or vendor that is involved with the development or conduct of training and has access to SSI sign a non-disclosure agreement (which is available on the ACO-500 web board in the 12,500 Program/Guidance conference). The completed and signed non-disclosure agreement must be kept on file for a minimum of one year after the training has been completed, and presented to TSA inspectors upon request.