aircraft over 12,500 pounds. This rule, dubbed by experts the "Twelve-Five
Rule," became law as part of the FAA reauthorization legislation in 2002.
Additional federal legislation requires that flight school instructors be
trained in identifying suspicious circumstances and activities of individuals
enrolling or attending a flight school.
On the domestic end, U.S. student pilots must show a government-issued
photo I.D. to verify their identity before enrolling in flight school, and many
flight schools require instructors to be present any time a student pilot is on
the tarmac or near training aircraft.
The Heritage Foundation study advocates a Trusted Pilot Program. This
program would be vital in preventing general aviation from shutting down
completely in the event of another terrorist attack or natural disaster. A
trusted pilot program with certification for first responders, for example,
would ensure that they are always granted access to the air to respond to
emergencies that might shut down U.S. airspace. This program would also speed up
customs inspections for trusted pilots when they re-enter American airspace from
With the numerous databases already in use in the Department of
Transportation, the TSA, the FAA, and the private sector, interoperability is
the key to inter-agency security cooperation. Making the databases and watch
lists available to everyone in the GA sector will ensure that pilots and flight
students are checked against every source of information before they are allowed
in the sky.
Establishing secure credentials for pilot certificates and credentials is
also critical, the authors believe. National standards for these credentials
should be established to obtain pilot licenses and should be similar to those
for motor vehicle licenses.
The Heritage Foundation study says "improving general aviation security
should be part of the national effort to make the skies safer. Much has been
done since 9/11 to establish security measures that are appropriate for the
The most worrisome threat from general aviation comes from using aircraft as a transportation platform.
The Next Phase General aviation airports and businesses brace for tighter security By Jeff Price July 2002 About the Author Jeff Price is a consultant with...
Considering the Threat Georgia Airports Association president comments on GA security By Lee Remmel, A.A.E., President, Georgia Airports Association August 2002 About the...
NATA recommends that LASP be withdrawn.