FAA and the TSA only have it if we allow it
EARL LAWRENCE, EAA 265455
EAA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs
Two subjects are at the forefront this month: efforts to ensure public input when establishing security regula- tions and the release of the final amateur-built aircraft
certification policies and procedures. These are definitely
different subjects, but the outcomes of both issues were and
will continue to be affected by the ability and willingness of
your participation in influencing the United States government’s decisions.
Ultimately, the United States government has the power
to regulate our aviation activities. All citizens, not just aviation enthusiasts, give authority to those who govern. This
ability to regulate is not inherently good or bad; it is just
reality. What is also a reality is our ability to influence the
development of those rules and regulations. Our choice to
use that ability to influence is key to our continued participation in aviation activities.
Numbers count. The more people who respond to our
government’s aviation regulatory actions, the greater influence we have on the subject. More than 3,000 members
responded to the FAA’s proposed amateur-built aircraft certification policy. Because of those well-reasoned responses
and the respect EAA has earned with the FAA, the results are
favorable for homebuilders. (See page 94 for more information.)
Now we need your help to turn the tide of overregulation
in the name of security. Friends of general aviation have made
significant efforts in Congress to ensure the Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) and other homeland security
agencies follow process and procedures before establishing
regulations. That includes obtaining input from the public
whom they are tasked to serve. Without support for these
efforts, you are giving absolute power to agencies that will err
on the side of security or safety rather than freedom.
Working to Curb Absolute Power
Efforts continue in Congress to make the process of establishing security measures for general aviation more transparent and to balance security needs with the freedom to travel
freely throughout our country.
Several House of Representatives members supportive
of general aviation have introduced House Bill 3678 in an
attempt to ensure the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) does not continue to have an absolute power to issue
security directives (SD) that severely impact aviation.
An example of the DHS’ unchecked authority is SD 1542-
04-08F issued in December 2008 and modified in June of this
year. That directive requires commercial airports to revamp
their general aviation ramp security procedures to include
background checks, identification badges, and personal
escorts to and from aircraft. This SD was issued without input
from the general aviation community and despite the lack
of any imminent security threat. SD 1542-04-08F applied a
“one size fits all” response to a transportation sector—
general aviation—even in the absence of a credible or immediate threat. It forces an immediate, long-term, and unfunded
security mandate on general aviation.
The more people who respond to our
government’s aviation regulatory
actions, the greater influence we have
on the subject.
HR 3678 would allow the DHS to issue security directives,
but only when responding to an imminent threat, and only
for a finite duration of no more than 180 days. When the
DHS determines that long-term security processes need to
be implemented or an existing security directive needs to be
extended past 180 days, the agency would be required to use
a public rulemaking process.
The importance of using the rulemaking process for
security regulations was highlighted by the TSA’s proposed
Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP). Because the process
allowed for public participation in the development of the
regulation, response was quick and massive. The TSA is now
significantly modifying its original proposal and will be reissuing the LASP for further public comment.
The security directive process does not provide the public
an opportunity for input and is referred to by many as abuse
of the Administrative Procedures Act, which was designed to
give public notice of proposed regulatory or policy changes.
We now need EAA members to write their congressional representatives to seek support of HR 3678. Visit
www.EAA.org/Govt for information on how to write your
congressional representative. You deserve the right to
preserve your freedom.
To learn more about EAA’s advocacy efforts,