A Day Late And A Dollar Short: TSA Studying Small Planes
By Number Six
Monday, August 11, 2008 at 01:08 PM
According to USA Today, the much insipid TSA has decided it's time to take on general aviation...
Sort of, that is....
The Transportation Security Administration is planning a massive expansion of aviation security that for the first time will regulate thousands of private planes now flying with no security rules.Ooo, scary, scary! You mean small planes can be used as guided missiles? Of course they can. But, let us read the fine print to this proposed lunacy:
The new regulations, expected to be proposed in coming months, stop short of passenger screening, but would aim to prevent someone from flying a small plane, possibly packed with explosives, into a building. Authorities also worry about terrorists transporting hazardous materials or themselves on private aircraft, said Michal Morgan, TSA head of general aviation security.
The new regulations, which would apply to planes that weigh more than 12,500 pounds, would most likely require measures such as checking flight crew backgrounds, parking planes in secure areas and inspecting planes, Morgan said. "We've worked very closely with industry to garner as much input with respect to what is operationally feasible," Morgan said. It is not clear whether passengers would get background checks.
Time out, TSA, let's descend and maintain 5,000, there's no air up there!
First of all, it's pointless to only take care of planes weighing more than 12,500 lbs. Planes that size already operate out of medium to large-sized airports to begin with, as grass and that much weight don't work worth a damn. Such a "ruling" then discounts all the other planes and helicopters that don't hit 12,500, yet, could be, yes, useable as a way to make a real mess. Does TSA comprehend this? Obviously not.
Passenger screening? At 12,500 lbs, that usually means junket flights by rich passengers who prefer the directness of a plane headed to a destination, without bratty kids crying, shitty food, and boring movies. These people have money to pay for this kind of flight, are usually Rethugs, and rarely are they ever bothered. (Known fact: Vote Rethug and you can joyride through DC airspace...)
If anything, TSA is making some noise, and nothing else. I can see TSA hanging out at cornfield airports (everywhere USA), bothering crop dusters, student pilots, the weekend attorney pilots, air ambulance crews, the EAA guys with their experimentals, I mean, how much money are we willing to spend to insure that Al Crapgame doesn't do a repeat of 911???
I can just see Sun-N-Fun or Oshkosh reduced to....nothing. Airshows with zero attendance and why? Oh, take off your shoes, hand over the lighter, hold still, this won't hurt.
I can also see hiring a TSA agent to screen someone who has a grass strip next to their house. That should be hilarious to say the least. We're gonna pay someone a salary to sit at someone's home, and guess when they intend to fire up the Citabria, eh?
"Hey, YOU! I need to SCREEN you!!
And I can hear that through my headset as the skids come loose? Bye, chuckles, later.
Get a grip, TSA, really.