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Updated May 8, 2013
Government Eases Access to DCA Following Dialogue With NBAA Security Council
February 27, 2012
In the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, changes to security have led to burdensome procedures for accessing Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). However, rules for accessing DCA are changing significantly, said NBAA Vice President for Safety, Security & Regulation Doug Carr. He attributes many of the changes to the dialogue between TSA officials and NBAA's Security Council. "We've been very pleased with the work that the TSA and the committee have done together," he said. Carr discusses the topic in this week's edition of the NBAA Flight Plan podcast; it will also be the focus of an NBAA webinar being held on February 29. Read the full article. Listen to the podcast and learn more about participating in the webinar.
TSA Adds New Flexibility to DCA Access Program
February 28, 2011
Based on feedback from NBAA and operators approved to conduct flights into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), greater flexibility will now be provided for general aviation operations at DCA. Effective March 1, the TSA will implement changes to the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP) that will allow approved operators greater flexibility when conducting flights to and from DCA. These improvements are a direct result of collaboration between NBAA, TSA and users of the DASSP. "We appreciate the concerted effort TSA has undertaken to bring improvements to the DASSP and look forward to increased use of the program by NBAA Members," noted Doug Carr, NBAA vice president, safety, security & regulation. Additional information on the improved process will be posted as soon as possible.
At TSA 'Summit' NBAA Continues Call for Improved DCA Access
July 14, 2010
Can access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) be made more workable in a way that continues to address federal officials' security concerns regarding flights over the nation's capital? That was the question on the table at a recent meeting of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials and industry stakeholders, according to Doug Carr, NBAA Vice President for Safety, Security & Regulation. Read more.
On July 19, 2005, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released an interim final rule that allows certain general aviation aircraft to apply for access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) under the DCA Access Standard Security Program (DASSP).
The TSA is allowing the following types of operations to apply for DCA Access:
- Operators under a partial security program approved by TSA under 49 CFR 1544.101(b), which operate aircraft with a passenger seating configuration of 31 or more but 60 or fewer seats.
- Operators under a Private Charter Standard Security Program (PCSSP) approved by the TSA under 49 CFR 1544.101(f), which operate aircraft with a passenger seating configuration of 61 or more seats or a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 45,500 kg (101,309 pounds) or more.
- Operators in scheduled or charter service with a Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (TFSSP) approved by TSA under 49 CFR 1544.101(d), which operate aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of greater than 12,500 pounds.
- Aircraft operated by corporations.
For the purposes of implementing this rule, TSA considers "aircraft operated by corporations" as any operation using a paid flight crew, having an operations manual, and requiring recurring flight-crew training. Aircraft that are owned by a corporation but operated by private persons will not be considered for the initial implementation phase of this program. Scheduled and charter operations in aircraft not otherwise under a TSA security program, will not be considered for the initial phase of this program.
NBAA has developed a fact sheet on the interim final rule on access to DCA. The fact sheet outlines the requirements necessary for aircraft operators seeking to operate into or out of DCA. NBAA will update this fact sheet as the TSA releases additional guidance.
For more information, visit the TSA web page about restoring GA access to DCA.
For aircraft operators to fly into and out of DCA, they must designate a security coordinator at their company and adopt a DASSP. As part of the DASSP, they must ensure that all flight crewmembers have undergone a fingerprint-based criminal history records check (CHRC).
Once aircraft operators have complied with those requirements, they will be eligible to apply to the FAA for a slot reservation into DCA, and to TSA for authorization to operate specific flights into and out of DCA.
To receive TSA authorization for a flight, aircraft operators must do the following:
- Submit passenger and crew manifests 24 hours in advance of flight.
- Have name-based threat assessments conducted by TSA on their flight crewmembers and passengers on the flight.
- Carry an armed security officer (ASO) who also must have a threat assessment conducted by TSA, as well as specialized training and authorization from TSA.
- Have their last point of departure from a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) that holds a security program issued by TSA at an airport designated by TSA (referred to as a "gateway airport").
- Have the TSA inspect the aircraft and screen the passengers, carry-on property, and property carried in the cargo hold of the aircraft, before it departs for DCA.
- Operate under instrument flight rules and comply with all applicable FAA rules, including those rules for operating in the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ).
- Pay any costs and fees required under the program, including a $15 threat assessment fee for each passenger and crewmember whose information the aircraft operator submits to TSA as part of the flight approval process.
How To Request The DCA Access Standard Security Program
To receive the DASSP, an aircraft operator must contact TSA through TSA’s Office of Aviation Programs and request the DASSP. Contact information is in the guidance documents and forms found below.
TSA will verify that the aircraft operator is a valid operator and then provide the aircraft operator with a nondisclosure agreement that the aircraft operator must sign, as the DASSP contains sensitive security information (SSI) that must be protected in accordance with TSA’s SSI regulation at 49 CFR Part 1520.
TSA then will provide the DASSP to the aircraft operator. Once the aircraft operator implements the requirements of the DASSP, the aircraft operator must notify TSA. TSA will then inspect the aircraft operator to ensure that the program requirements have been implemented in accordance with the DASSP.
Upon a satisfactory inspection, the aircraft operator will be eligible to apply to TSA for approval to operate flights into and out of DCA in accordance with the requirements in the interim final rule.
Flights must be screened at and depart from one of the following gateway airports as the last point of departure prior to arriving at DCA:
- ABQ, Albuquerque International Sunport Airport, Albuquerque, NM
- ANC, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, AK
- APA, Centennial Airport, Denver, CO
- AUS, Austin-Bergstron International Airport, Austin, TX
- BCT, Boca Raton Airport, Boca Raton, FL
- BDL, Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, CT
- BED, Laurence G Hanscom Field Airport, Bedford, MA
- BFI, Boeing Field/King County International Airport, Seattle, WA
- BNA, Nashville International Airport, Nashville, TN
- BOS, Logan International Airport, Boston, MA
- BTV, Burlington International Airport, Burlington, VT
- BWI, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Baltimore, MD
- BZN, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Bozeman, MT
- CLT, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, NC
- CMH, Port Columbus International Airport, Columbus, OH
- COS, City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Colorado Springs, CO
- CPS, St. Louis Downtown Airport, Cahokia/St. Louis, IL
- CRP, Corpus Christi International Airport, Corpus Christi, TX
- DAL, Dallas Love Field Airport, Dallas, TX
- DEC, Decatur Airport, Decatur, IL
- DEN, Denver International Airport, Denver, CO
- DFW, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
- DSM, Des Moines International Airport, Des Moines, IA
- DVT, Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, AZ
- ELP, El Paso International Airport, El Paso, TX
- EWR, Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, NJ
- FAT, Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Fresno, CA
- FRG, Republic Airport, Farmingdale, NY
- FTW, Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, TX
- GRR, Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids, MI
- HOU, Houston Hobby Airport, Houston, TX
- HPN, Westchester County Airport, White Plains, NY
- HSV, Huntsville International Airport-Carl T Jones Field, Huntsville, AL
- HXD, Hilton Head Airport, Hilton Head Island, SC
- IAD, Dulles International Airport, Dulles, VA
- IAH, George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport, Houston, TX
- ICT, Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS
- IND, Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis, IN
- ISP, Long Island Mac Arthur Airport, Islip, NY
- JAX, Jacksonville International Airport, Jacksonville, FL
- LAS, Mc Carran International Airport, Las Vegas, NV
- LAX, Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA
- LBE, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, Latrobe, PA
- LEX, Blue Grass Airport, Lexington, KY
- LGA, LaGuardia Airport, New York, NY
- LGB, Long Beach Airport, Long Beach, CA
- LUK, Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field, Cincinnati, OH
- MBS, Saginaw International Airport, Freeland, MI
- MCI, Kansas City International Airport, Kansas City, MO
- MCO, Orlando International Airport, Orlando, FL
- MDW, Chicago Midway International Airport, Chicago, IL
- MEM, Memphis International Airport, Memphis, TN
- MHT, Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH
- MKE, General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee, WI
- MLB, Melbourne International Airport, Melbourne, FL
- MMU, Morristown Municipal Airport, Morristown, NJ
- MSN, Dane County Regional Airport-Truax Field, Madison, WI
- MSP, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, MN
- MSY, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, New Orleans, LA
- OKC, Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City, OK
- ORD, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, IL
- PBI, Palm Beach International Airport,West Palm Beach, FL
- PHL, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, PA
- PHX, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, AZ
- PIA, General Downing - Peoria International Airport, Peoria, IL
- PIT, Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburgh, PA
- PSP, Palm Springs International Airport, Palm Springs, CA
- PTK, Oakland County International Airport, Pontiac, MI
- PVD, Theodore Francis Green State Airport, Providence, RI
- RDU, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Raleigh/Durham, NC
- RIC, Richmond International Airport, Richmond, VA
- RST, Rochester International Airport, Rochester, MN
- SAT, San Antonio International Airport, San Antonio, TX
- SAV, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Savannah, GA
- SBA, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, Santa Barbara, CA
- SBN, South Bend Regional Airport, South Bend, IN,
- SDF, Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field, Louisville, KY
- SDL, Scottsdale Airport, Scottsdale, AZ
- SEA, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle,WA
- SFO, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, CA
- SNA, John Wayne-Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, CA
- SPI, Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, IL
- STL, Lambert St. Louis International Airport, St. Louis, MO
- STP, St. Paul Downtown Airport / Holman Field, St. Paul, MN
- SUS, Chesterfield Spirit of St. Louis Airport, Chesterfield, MO
- TEB, Teterboro Airport, Teterboro, NJ
The TSA has released the application process and guidance material for aircraft operators, FBOs and armed security officers seeking or supporting access into DCA. NBAA encourages all interested operators to download and review all relevant documentation before starting the application process. For questions please contact NBAA's Operations Service Group at (202) 783-9250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms also are provided on the TSA's web site.
- Contact Information for TSA Principal Security Specialists (PDF, 225 KB)
- Armed Security Officer (ASO) Program Announcement (PDF, 24 KB)
- Important Information and FAQs (PDF, 184 KB)
- ASO Guidance and Application (PDF, 88 KB)
- ASO Federal Background Check Form (PDF, 512 KB)
- Non-Disclosure Agreement Form (PDF, 21 KB)
- FBO & Operator Initial Application (PDF, 72 KB)