June 6, 2007

Letters to the Editor
Portland Press Herald
P.O. Box 1460
Portland, ME 04104-5009

To the Editor:

The article, “More Rules for Planes, Small Boats” (May 25) didn’t mention the extensive work done by the general aviation community to tighten security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a result, general aviation (GA), which covers all flights except the military and airlines, has enhanced an already strong security environment at GA airports and facilities nationwide.

For example, shortly following 9/11, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) worked with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on an initiative to establish industry-leading security standards for personnel, facilities, aircraft and in-flight operations. This early pilot program, called the Transportation Security Administration Access Certificate (TSAAC), has helped inform and advance the current work being done by the TSA on general aviation security.

Of course, TSAAC is just one of many post-9/11 GA security initiatives. An “Airport Watch” program has been created with a 24-hour, toll-free number to report suspicious activity to TSA officials. Aircraft manufacturers have adopted procedures to report suspicious financial transactions during aircraft purchase. Non-US citizens are carefully screened by flight trainers, and federal airman and aircraft registries are closely checked by law enforcement against terrorist lists. And, charter aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs. must comply with TSA-mandated security procedures akin to those for the airlines.

Security has always been a top priority for general aviation. As federal officials consider new GA security policies, NBAA will continue working with authorities to highlight the effective measures already in place, and ensure an appropriate balance between security and mobility concerns.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association