Hi folks. I don't know how many of you are pilots like I am, but if you are, you likely have not heard of this latest infringement on our liberties by the FAA. I received the notice from a friend, and it IS for real. The EAA and AOPA has sprung into action. It's another case of the government trying to slip in under the radar to burn us. This could be the death knell for General Aviation.
I wanted to let you all know of a very disturbing TSA Security Directive (SD) that is being implemented under the radar that affects ALL U.S. airports with commercial Part 121 scheduled airline service.
This is reality folks, and several of us here in good ol' western Colorado attended a meeting with TSA personnel tonight in Montrose MTJ and confirmed this shocking news firsthand.
This SD would require that every person who steps foot in the airport operations area be screened for security clearance and badged before being allowed to have access on the ramp. If you are not badged, then you must wait to be escorted by a badged representative and escorted off the AOA.
This means that if you are flying into GJT, you would have to wait in your cockpit until someone escorted you directly to the FBO. That means no more self-serve fueling opportunities unless someone is there to meet you, no more mingling on the ramp and talking to your buddies no more freedom.
However, here is the kicker - Let's say you go through this security clearance at your local airport (a $175 fee at GJT) and want to fly anywhere else and land at an airport with scheduled commercial airline service i.e. Montrose, Vail, Telluride, Loveland, Long Beach, Ontario, Santa Ana etc. you will have to be badged at EACH airport! The way the SD is written now (and is effective April 23, 2009) there is no provision for a standardized security learance. Each airport operates independently of every other airport!!!!!! This is complete madness. This will drive the nail in the coffin of GA, and combined with the TSA Large Aircraft Security Proposal (LASP) would virtually destroy the freedoms that all of us have known our entire aviation careers!
AOPA was not aware of this until last week, NBAA, NATA, EAA are caught off guard. You need to understand what this will do to our industry.
The TSA personnel are not even allowing us to view this 14 page directive because it is deemed sensitive to "national security". Our freedoms are being stripped away right before our eyes.
As soon as we can get our hands on this document we will make it public to everyone in the aviation community. Please take the time to question your local TSA representatives about this proposal and get involved.
If this thing is implemented, just think how long it will take to be a requirement of EVERY airport in the U.S. If there was ever a time for action, this is it.
Vintage Aviation, Ltd.www.vintagebiplane.com