2008 Press Releases

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As TSA Publishes New Security Proposal, NBAA and AOPA Jointly Request Extension to Comment Period

Contact: Dan Hubbard at (202) 783-9360 or dhubbard@nbaa.org

WASHINGTON, DC, October 30, 2008 – National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen said NBAA had signed a joint letter with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) asking the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for an extension to the comment period on new TSA proposal for general aviation, published today in the Federal Register.

The TSA’s new plan, called the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), would cover all Part 91 operations and operators of any aircraft over 12,500 pounds maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). Much of the content of the proposed 260-page rule was made public on
October 9. However, today’s publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register officially begins the 60-day public comment period.

“This proposal represents a significant regulatory change in the conduct of private aircraft operations,” the NBAA/AOPA letter states. “We believe that the 60-day comment period is insufficient in order to provide TSA with answers to the substantial number of questions posed in the proposal and to provide sufficient time for community education and feedback...We believe TSA will benefit substantially by a 60-day extension to the comment period and the use of public meetings.”

In a meeting yesterday with TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, Bolen said that the business aviation community is committed to promoting security, and the industry’s actions since the 9/11 terrorist attacks had reflect that fact. But Bolen expressed disappointment that the proposed rule appears to have been written with commercial operations in mind. 

“It is important that whatever is done to promote security be tailored to the operation and the risk involved,” Bolen said. “It also has to be prudent, effective, reasonable and workable. This proposal does not appear to be in line with those principles. I think our comments will be substantial.”

Bolen added NBAA is urging its Members to get involved as well, noting that the Association had been providing Members with a link to a government web site where individuals could submit feedback about the plan. “Our Members have expressed real concerns about the TSA’s proposal,” Bolen said, “and we want to ensure that their voices are heard by government officials on this issue.

“We are convinced there are ways to maintain the vital balance between enhancing aviation security and preserving the mobility and flexibility that are at the foundation of business aviation,” Bolen concluded. “It’s an approach we will continue to promote – and we are confident our Members will do likewise.”

NBAA Members wishing to submit comments about the TSA’s plan online should visit:

http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=TSA-2008-0021

A copy of the joint letter from NBAA and AOPA to TSA Administrator Hawley can be reviewed at:

http://www.nbaa.org/advocacy/letters/20081030lasp.pdf

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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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