When it comes to teaching students from other countries to fly, it’s no longer good enough to be a Part 61 flight school or an independent flight instructor. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If you’re just as shocked as I was to learn this, then read their policy guidance letter.
As we move towards the national elections this November, it’s time to energize our general aviation community once again. There are two issues to examine and let our elected representatives in Washington know how we feel. One issue is the perfect storm: User fees. The second issue is an opportunity to have Congress send to the President’s desk the Air Travelers’ Bill of Rights.
When you eat bananas, the best people to ask how the bananas taste are those who eat bananas. When you want to know about growing bananas, you ask those who grow the bananas. So if you do an investigative report dealing with flight instruction, wouldn’t you go to those involved in teaching student pilots?
General Aviation News’s GA Security blogger, Dave Hook, has released the Summer 2012 edition of his General Aviation Security Magazine. It’s chock full of interesting articles from a number of guest authors. Check it out here.
In my previous post I covered what an agent of the TSA could “request” of a general aviator. Because the article was so regulation intense, I sent an early draft to the TSA’s Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs for comment. They afforded me the courtesy of a review with useful comments by my requested deadline. Thank you.
I want to share two comments from my reviewer that go further into TSA authority and assistance. The first comment pertains to the authority of the TSA to conduct airport inspections. The second deals with a useful resource that’s been around a while, but is still worthy of mention.
I am partial to barbeques, so when I received a recent invitation to go to a local airport and enjoy a free barbeque lunch and escape the office, I jumped at the opportunity.
I had the pleasure of enjoying my pulled-pork sandwich and iced tea with some local aviators that call the airport home. The opportunity to sit outside, talk about airplanes, and swap flying stories was a like a breath of fresh air. It sure beats reading intelligence reports and legislative proposals!
While my lunch buddies and I took turns swapping stories, one told me that a pair of officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had been walking around and asking questions at the airport recently. According to my picnic tablemate, the single biggest question posed by the agents was why airplanes didn’t have propeller locks installed when they were parked behind locked hangar doors. I was more concerned about why the two were there in the first place and that my lunch buddy somehow felt compelled to answer their questions.
I want to share a resource with you that takes high level security concepts and brings them down to earth. Do you want to know the latest ideas on security lighting? Maybe you don’t, not because security lighting isn’t important, but perhaps you’re too busy to read and digest the meaning of an author’s words. Wouldn’t it be easier to see examples of, say, bad and good security lighting?
Security by Design, a part of the Association of Chief Police Officers and headquartered in London, England, created a practical toolkit for improving security. The toolkit deals with residential areas, but with a little imagination the concepts it presents can easily be applied to airports and airport businesses.
I want to thank all who took the time to respond to my previous blog, “Couldn’t sign the user fee petition? Here’s help.” As promised, I sent your names and information to the White House as the attachment to the cover letter below. This response was sent both by email and the U.S. Postal Service.
We are still way below the needed 25,000 respondents on the petition. When I last checked the site we were up to less than 5,700. That’s more than when we started, but not even close to what we need. Remember, those who register their disapproval of aviation user fees do NOT have to be general aviators. They can be family members, friends, acquaintances, and so on. We have until May 16.