Captain Packrat (captpackrat) wrote,
Captain Packrat

  • Mood:

Takes Stuff Away

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which brought you hour-long lines, top secret no-fly lists, taking your shoes off, and banning screwdrivers and jelly doughnuts, is making another grab for power.  They are proposing to regulate all "large" aircraft in the same fashion as the airlines:  passengers will have to be screened through the no-fly list, the same forbidden item list will apply, all crew members will have to undergo fingerprinting and background checks, and the aircraft would have to be stored in a TSA-approved secured facility both at home and away.  Each operator of a "large" aircraft would have to appoint a security administrator and undergo security audits by an outside inspector.

At first this sounds OK, until you realize that the term "large aircraft" was defined in the 1940's as any aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 12,500 pounds.  This includes bizjets like the Cessna Citation II or the Learjet 35 as well as larger prop planes like the Beech King Air 350 and the DC-3

Some of these aircraft are owned by private individuals, many of whom fly their own planes.  Doesn't matter.  The owner would still have to be fingerprinted and undergo a background check just to fly his own airplane!  And he couldn't bring a bottle of water, gel insoles, more than 3 ounces of shampoo, a letter opener or a screwdriver on his own airplane!  

This proposal will decimate the aircraft industry.  Compliance with these new regulations will be very expensive (not to mention invasive of privacy), and with the rising cost of jet fuel and avgas, many companies and individuals who would have purchased a business aircraft will look elsewhere for their transportation needs.

If this passes, it will only be a matter of time until the TSA tries to apply it to all aircraft regardless of size.

Tags: aviation, government

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