Reworked LASP Proposal Likely Later This Year
October 10, 2011 –The Transportation Security Administration’s Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), which met with nearly universal criticism when originally announced in 2008, is scheduled to return in a significantly altered proposal for public comment later this year.
The initial security plan was ardently opposed by EAA and much of the GA community because of the burdensome list of security requirements for aircraft of more than 12,500 pounds and their operators. Those requirements included watch list screening of passenger manifests, crewmember criminal record checks, third-party audits of aircraft operators every two years, and new airport security mandates.
More than 8,000 comments – most of them overwhelmingly negative – poured into the TSA during the public input period. EAA was among the GA groups that criticized the plan, saying it was unacceptable and would cause extreme hardship for many aircraft operators, whose identities are already known to federal agencies and whose passengers are well known to the pilots and operators of such aircraft. Further, the 12,500-pound weight limit contradicted TSA and Department of Homeland Security studies that concluded that aircraft in this weight range did not pose a significant threat.
The agency pulled the original concept in June 2009 and redesigned it over a two-year period. That redesign included input from EAA and other GA industry representatives. According to TSA officials, the new version will focus on giving aircraft operators flexibility while providing the TSA with security assurances. The minimum aircraft weight subject to the LASP will also be raised.
The new version of the LASP proposal is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget. It is anticipated to be published for public comment before the end of the year or early in 2012.