WASHINGTON, DC, May 2, 2003 – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) urged its members to share with their employees and customers the alert issued yesterday by the Terrorist Threat Integration Center.
“The safety and security of general aviation aircraft is, always has been, and will continue to be our members’ number one priority,” said GAMA President Ed Bolen. “It is our understanding the alert is not based on new information. Rather it is a reminder that, despite reduced threat levels and the conclusion of major military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to remain vigilant. We will remain proactive in our cooperation with law enforcement and in the education of the general aviation community.”
Since the September 11 attacks, GAMA and other general aviation associations have been working closely with the federal government to enhance security. The following are examples of how general aviation has changed over the past 18 months:
- The FAA now requires that pilots carry a government-issued photo ID along with their pilot’s license whenever they operate an aircraft.
- Airport Watch programs have been established at general aviation airports, and details about the program have been mailed to every active pilot in the U.S. TSA staffs a toll-free hotline -866-GASECURE (866-427-3287) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for reporting suspicious activity at general aviation airports.
- The federal government is combing the FAA’s Airmen and Aircraft registries for persons believed to be a security risk.
- New security procedures, including passenger screening, have been mandated by the TSA for charter operations involving aircraft weighing more than 12,500 lbs.
- All non-U.S. citizens seeking flight training in the U.S. on aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds must first undergo a Department of Justice background check.
- Foreign registered general aviation aircraft must be approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and submit a complete passenger manifest before they are allowed to enter the United States.
- To prevent money laundering, companies that sell new or used airplanes follow new industry guidelines developed by GAMA to ensure the identity of aircraft purchasers is verified and suspicious financial transactions are reported.