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NBAA Security Council Anticipates Improvements in LASP II

October 22, 2009, Orlando, FL – In the aftermath of overwhelming industry opposition to the original Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) proposal of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency went back to the drawing board and solicited input from a variety of individual operators, as well as the major general aviation organizations. As a result, members of the NBAA’s Security Council, which met this week at the NBAA 62nd Annual Meeting & Convention, believe that LASP II, which could be published around the beginning of the year and include a 60-day comment period, will be a much improved security solution for those who rely on general aviation aircraft for business. 

Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president, safety, security & regulation and one of the Association’s staff liaisons to the NBAA Security Council, said, “TSA is making progress, and moving in the right direction.”

Gregory Kulis, vice chairman of the Security Council, said he believes LASP II will be “much more acceptable to industry” than the original LASP proposal. Kulis anticipates that the weight threshold of aircraft affected by the rule will be higher than the originally proposed 12,500 pounds.

NBAA officials also expect that the more onerous requirements of the original proposal, such as the “prohibited items” list, will be dropped, although the TSA might require operators to establish a chain of custody protocol for all items onboard the aircraft. In addition, the plan to involve third-party service providers and auditors will not likely be part of LASP II. However, it will likely place a significant amount of responsibility and authority on the pilot through a yet-to-be-developed “trusted pilot” process, which could improve many elements of the program.

In other security news, Carr is hopeful that improvements in international arrivals processes will be forthcoming. He hopes that overseas FBOs that participate in the Secure FBO program will soon be able to provide additional customs and immigration streamlining for aircraft bound for the U.S.

Lisa Piccione, NBAA’s senior vice president, government affairs and the other staff liaison to the Security Council, is encouraged by President Obama’s recent nomination of Erroll Southers to be the next assistant secretary for the TSA. Southers currently serves as assistant police chief for homeland security and intelligence at Los Angeles World Airports, which has the largest airport police department in the United States. Los Angeles World Airports is responsible for managing several area airfields, including Van Nuys and Burbank, two of the major centers for business aviation on the West Coast.

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