US Dept. of Homeland Security & GA
US Dept. of Homeland Security & GA
Fact Sheet: General Aviation
Release Date: November 5, 2007
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
About General Aviation
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working to strengthen General Aviation (GA) security to further minimize the vulnerability of GA and private aircraft flights being used to deliver illicit materials, transport dangerous individuals or employ the aircraft as a weapon. Today, compared to regularly scheduled commercial airline operations, little or no screening or vetting of crew, passengers or aircraft on international GA and private aircraft is required prior to departure to or from U.S. Air Ports of Entry (APOE), some of which are well within U.S. territory and near highly populated areas. In addition, thousands of GA operators conduct operations in large aircraft but are not subject to have security programs under current TSA regulations.
To address this vulnerability, the department recently developed a long-term strategy intended to enhance international and domestic general aviation security by: identifying and vetting passengers and crew on international GA and private aircraft prior to entering and departing U.S. airspace; screening aircraft to ensure that illicit materials do not enter the U.S.; and conducting these screening and vetting activities as far from critical sites within the U.S. as practicable, preferably at the last point of departure for the aircraft outside the U.S.
Identifying and Vetting Passengers and Crew
Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS):
DHS recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which will require more detailed information about arriving and departing private aircraft and persons onboard within a timeframe necessary to assess the risks that certain flights may pose to national security. DHS is working through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify and vet passengers and crew on inbound and outbound international private aircraft, generally defined as non-commercial flights.
The NPRM, Advanced Information on Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States, expands existing regulations that will require pilots of private aircraft to provide electronic manifest data for all persons traveling onboard to the United States Government one hour prior to departure to and from the United States by filing manifest data via CBP’s eAPIS system or an approved alternate system.
Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP):
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is engaging in efforts to establish a security program for GA operators, including corporate and private operations, to make them consistent with existing security programs for commercial aircraft of similar size. TSA will continue to engage the GA industry while developing the various components of the program to ensure that the requirements provide enhanced and consistent application of security while supporting continued growth and operations for the GA community.
Secure Fixed Based Operators:
TSA is developing, in close coordination with the industry, a program in which overseas FBOs voluntarily provide additional security for flights inbound to the United States. The program would allow for FBOs to check manifests against eAPIS filings to better identify the flight crew and passengers on board general aviation aircraft. TSA is partnering with Signature Flight Support to establish a pilot program at several locations that serve as a last point of departure into the United States. We are encouraged by the public/private sector partnership to improve security and believe that the broader application of such programs will provide robust security while maintaining operational flexibility for general aviation operators. It is DHS’s goal to have Anchorage, Alaska, and Shannon, Ireland, up and running by the end of the year.
[b]Screening Aircraft to Protect Against Illicit Materials
Radiation/Nuclear Detection Screening:[/b]
For the past two years, DHS’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) has led an effort to identify key vulnerabilities to weapons of mass destruction threats, specifically with regard to radioactive and nuclear (RN) items. DNDO, together with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is working to facilitate international general aviation operations while enhancing security for those operations and for the nation as a whole. CBP, in close coordination with DNDO, is strengthening its existing RN detection capability in the international general aviation and private aircraft environment. DNDO is evaluating and will acquire additional equipment to support CBP’s performance of this mission.
Air Domain Surveillance
Since 9/11, the US has improved its air domain surveillance capabilities greatly. DHS, in close coordination with DOT and DOD, is responsible for the monitoring, tracking, and interdiction of non-compliant aircraft. DHS has responsibility for homeland security, DOT for the safe and efficient operation of the National Airspace System, and DOD for the homeland defense mission. These mutually supporting missions provide assurance that non-compliant aircraft are readily identified, intercepted, and responded to in an appropriate manner.
Automatic Detection and Processing Terminal (ADAPT):
To enhance the department’s ability to enforce airspace rules from the CBP Air & Marine Operations Center (AMOC), DHS is planning to implement a joint program between the FAA, CBP, and TSA, known as ADAPT. This ADAPT system will serve as a critical advance warning system for air traffic controllers and security personnel by allowing them to validate the identity, threat and movement of aircraft operating worldwide. This system is currently operational and will be significantly enhanced after its integration into CBP's AMOC at the end of November. This program, once fully integrated with CBP’s existing capabilities, will provide a substantial leap forward in the department’s ability to identify and process aircraft of interest.
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