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EAA Rallies Members to Demand More Time to Comment on Onerous TSA Proposals

November 6, 2008 — EAA is asking its members and the general aviation community to follow its lead in requesting an extension of the period during which citizens may comment on sweeping regulatory changes being proposed by the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) would place numerous requirements on the operation of all aircraft exceeding 12,500 pounds.

The current deadline is December 29, 2008. Last week EAA submitted a formal request urging TSA not only to extend the comment period until March 31, 2009, but also to schedule public hearings to examine the potential effects of LASP on owners and operators of personal and recreational aircraft. See comment instructions.

Now EAA is encouraging members to follow suit.

“The TSA’s proposal would create a major shift in the role of the federal government regarding the freedom of movement for private U.S. citizens,” EAA’s request read. “It would, for the first time, require governmental review and authority before a person could operate his/her own personal transportation conveyance. This significant intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens and vast expansion of governmental authority must not be entered into lightly.”

Requirements contained in the proposal include fingerprinting and performing background checks on all flight crews, vetting passengers against the government’s terrorist watch lists prior to every flight, and imposing numerous security requirements on airports serving “large” aircraft.

“Such a significant shift that allows the government to review and approve the explicit rights of its citizens to assemble and the implicit right to their freedom of movement pose potentially substantial Constitutional rights issues and significant cost burdens,” EAA's request stated.

Accordingly, EAA encourages like-minded aviation enthusiasts to request an extension of the public comment period. Additional time is required to study this comprehensive rulemaking proposal and its potential ramifications in the following areas:

  • It could significantly curtail or eliminate numerous historic aircraft operations that bring valuable inspirational, educational, and entertainment benefits to society.
  • It threatens to undermine fundamental liberties and privileges of U.S. citizens.
  • It could represent only a first step in a broader security policy that would risk suffocating the nation's valuable general-aviation activities.
  • It could represent misappropriated attention and focus in our nation's efforts to enhance security, applying disproportionately vast resources and onerous restrictions to a comparatively limited area of risk.

How to submit a comment:

To request an extension of the public comment period, refer to Docket No. TSA-2008-0021, “Large Aircraft Security Program, Other Aircraft Operator Security Program, and Airport Operator Security Program.”

  • By Mail, In Person or Fax to the Docket Management Facility, US Dept. of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington DC 20590-0001.
    Fax 202-493-2251.

  • Electronically through the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.Regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

    To follow all the public comments to the TSA security proposal, visit the docket site located on www.Regulations.gov.

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