TSA Airport Security Directive Still Causing Confusion
June 12, 2009 — As with many issues swirling around the Transportation Security Administration’s security directive for airports with commercial service [directive #1542-04-08G (SD-8G)], information regarding which airports are directly affected has been hard to come by, and sometimes confusing.
Case in point: EAA recently obtained a list of 454 U.S. airports (including airports in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam) that have commercial flight service, which COULD possibly make them subject to the security directive. However, as this list as emerged, some airport managers have contacted EAA and other outlets to say that their facility is NOT subject to the security directive or the airport has already implemented its own security plan that meets TSA requirements. Those airport managers are concerned that pilots may avoid those airports because of perceived hassles and delays in their operations there.
Getting specific information from TSA has been difficult on this matter, as implementation of the security directive is up to the individual airport. EAA’s concerns about the directive include an eventual patchwork of local rules, passes and security measures that would add burdens and costs to pilots, as well as additional requirements that would restrict GA activity at those airports.
What does this mean for EAA members and pilots? Extra planning prior to your flight. All but a few of the airports on the list welcome general and recreational flight operations and are working to make your visit as seamless as possible. If you’ll be flying to one of the listed airports, contact the airport or an FBO located there before taking off and find out the airport’s security requirements.
EAA, AOPA and other aviation organizations are continuing their push at TSA to remove the shroud of mystery regarding the airport directive. Clear information would assist the pilot community and help it maintain the high levels of responsibility toward security that has been a hallmark of general aviation pilots.