Speaking on behalf of the American Association of Airport Executives, the State of Colorado and Centennial Airport (the nation’s 3rd busiest general aviation airport), airport director Robert Olislagers spoke at the TSA public forum in Houston on the Large Aircraft Security Program.
Olislagers took issue that the GA industry is mostly unregulated and that it presents a risk necessitating the LASP rulemaking. He noted that it appears that TSA issued the NPRM without a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of the GA industry; an assessment that also takes into account the security measures that the GA industry has voluntarily taken.
Another significant issue is that the TSA’s cost analysis on implementation of the program is not based on any actual airport or aircraft operator. AAAE has conducted such analysis and has come up with costs far exceeding TSA’s estimates.
Finally, another point of contention, particulary from the airport side, is that compliance with the LASP may force some airports to become non-compliant with their grant assurances and lose their federal funding.
What we do not know is whether any of this commentary, here and elsewhere, will have any significant impact on the NPRM, or will TSA just nod politely, say thanks for the input and then implement this rule later this year.
So where do I sit on this? First, Robert Olislagers is a rock star in the airport industry. When he speaks, people listen, or at least they should. He is a expert on general aviation security and the director of one of the biggest GA airports in the country where they have pioneered several security initiatives. We know that no system is 100% secure; however, even knowing that we still must apply security measures and systems to try to make the bad guys go somewhere else. The real question here, is: does the Large Aircraft Security Program actually do that?