Eight Years Since 9/11 Attacks
September 11, 2009 — Today marks eight years since the attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center by hijacked commercial jetliners. We continue to offer our condolences to those who lost loved ones on that horrific day.
That day also forever changed the perception of aviation and the issues within aviation. The memory of the work and long hours needed immediately after 9/11 to preserve an individual’s freedom to fly one’s own aircraft still remain vivid today. That freedom still remains, but it has taken continual vigilance and effort to keep in place. The past eight years has brought us an entirely new federal agency – the Transportation Security Administration – which has direct oversight over how and where people fly. It has taken many years to build a regular dialogue with the TSA, even as they created policies that might hamper and potentially harm the general aviation community without enhancing security. The beginnings of a working relationship with TSA are finally starting to emerge, with the hopes that EAA, AOPA and other aviation groups can build a relationship that will be beneficial to pilots and aircraft owners. That will take more hard work, as public and political perceptions of aviation on all levels play a huge role in shaping TSA’s course of action. Individual pilots can help as well by making sure to be smart and safe in their flying, which will enhance our reputation and allow groups such as EAA to make a strong case for flying freedom throughout the nation.