WASHINGTON, DC, September 11, 2012 – GAMA today welcomed the report released by Transportation Security Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) entitled "Rebuilding TSA into a Smarter, Leaner Organization". The report makes a number of suggestions to improve the operations of TSA and highlights three key general aviation security programs that warrant the dedicated attention of the Department of Homeland Security and TSA.
GAMA’s President and CEO, Pete Bunce, said "The report is correct in its focus on some critical programs that need to be finished or fixed. The repair station security rule that has been languishing in the bureaucracy for years must be finalized. The alien flight student program must be made more effective and efficient in its administration. And, TSA must give proper attention and priority to establishing a risk-based security program for general aviation flight operations based on the consultative work done with industry almost four years ago."
The general aviation security programs highlighted by the report have been subject to significant work by industry over the past decade.
For instance, industry has communicated numerous times with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leadership about the importance of completing the repair station rulemaking. The inability of DHS to finalize a regulatory framework for repair station security impacts security and is impeding the competitiveness of manufacturers in key emerging markets.
Additionally, GAMA in 2011 petitioned DHS under Executive Order (EO) 13563 to rewrite the alien flight student program and establish a more proportional set of requirements for the vetting of foreign nationals seeking flight training. GAMA testified in July 2012 about the importance of TSA progressing with this rewrite and enhancing data sharing between federal agencies to mitigate any risks in flight training.
Finally, industry has worked with the TSA since the publication of the proposed Large Aircraft Security Program to establish a framework for general aviation security that effectively secures key flight operations without putting unneeded burdens on the industry.
"We have consistently called for TSA to get the work done in these areas," added Bunce. "On this important day of remembrance, we salute Chairman Rogers and other subcommittee members for highlighting these areas, and we look forward to working with the Committee and TSA to address these important issues."