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Valid Security Concerns
Updated July 1, 2011
In response to questions posed by NBAA, the FAA has provided some additional, but limited information on submitting a "Valid Security Concern".
The owner or operator covered by a certified security concern must submit the concern by July 14, 2011. Information on security concerns can be submitted after July 14, but the FAA may not review the information before the BARR program changes takes effect. Documentation regarding the security concern must also be submitted at least annually thereafter.
Charter operators are required to demonstrate a security concern in the same manner as other aircraft operators. In the event that a charter operator plans to carry a passenger with a security concern, the required information must be submitted to FAA at least 30 days in advance of the flight. The operator should also provide details on how long the valid security concern will exist.
In certain cases companies may require specific employees to utilize a business aircraft for all travel to mitigate serious security concerns. The Treasury Regulations provide criteria that companies may use to determine if a “bona fide business oriented-security concern” exists. In the case that a security concern meets this test, then the employer may exclude from the employee’s gross income the excess value of the flight over the “safe harbor airfare.
According to the June 3 notice, operators able to document to the FAA, on an annual basis, that they satisfy the Treasury requirements for a bona fide business oriented security concern may be able to continue blocking aircraft from flight tracking.
A bona fide business-oriented security concern exists only if the facts and circumstances establish a specific basis for concern regarding the safety of the employee. A generalized concern for the safety of the employee is not sufficient.
In addition, the employer must either establish an “overall security program” for the employee, or have an “independent security study” prepared for the employee. An overall security program requires that security be provided to protect the employee on a 24-hour basis.
The NBAA Non-Business Use of Aircraft Handbook contains additional information on this subject.