Inside the Fence

April 8, 2004
Outtakes from discussions, presentations on the road ... Steven Calabro, a security specialist/inspector for TSA, says that the pending “guidelines” for general aviation security will be just that — guidelines. So, when your community or state tries to impose severe restrictions on GA activities, give Steve a call at (571) 227-2264. Anne Van Praagh, a VP with Moody’s Investors Service, expresses concern about airlines pressuring airports to reduce rates and charges. Says Van Praagh, “Lowering airport costs will not affect the airlines’ financial crisis.” In fact, she says, totally eliminating airport rates and charges would have “virtually no effect” on the airlines financial situation. William Chester, director of transportation security systems for the consulting firm SAIC, has been conducting quite a few security assessments for airports. His recommendations ...

• Include security when planning and designing facilities;
• Integrate new technology with existing systems;
• Don’t buy “cutting edge” technology without an operational demo;
• “Expand your virtual perimeter.” That is, find out what the farmer next to the airport is planting, who he hires, and develop a relationship so that he feels comfortable calling the airport if he sees any suspicious activity.

Tulinda Larsen, the managing director for strategic consulting for BACK Aviation Solutions, says that “the pain is just beginning” for small commercial airports. Speaking at AAAE’s National Air Service Confer-ence, Larsen recommends that industry create a “coalition for disadvantaged airports,” made up of government, associations, and communities. The goal: reduce costs to airports caused by regulations and have government fully fund programs such as the Small Community Air Service Development Program.

Did you know? The Vision 100 aviation reauthorization bill includes creating a commission to evaluate the Essential Air Service program. Only problem is, Congress failed to allocate any money to form the commission.

Finally, an observation ...
At the recent Jet Fuel Conference, a representative from China relates that he and his associates traveled across the Pacific to be in Miami because “we want to tell you, we want to change.”

His powerpoint included a slide that said a goal was to “reinforce operational and technological exchange and cooperation with the outside world.” Those three words — the outside world — tell a lot about the Chinese mindset.
Thanks for reading.