December 2005

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. Congress paves the way for the program's expansion by approving the Homeland Security Department's request to charge people fees for background checks, a mean of financing the Registered Traveler Program. Airports await published guidelines that will allow for setting up their own Registered Traveler Program.

Secondly, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on October 3 releases its long awaited Biometrics for Airport Access Control Guidance Package. The document doesn't identify a standard biometric that's acceptable in airport access control systems. Standards in the document will be used by TSA to approve biometric products that would qualify for inclusion on its Qualified Products Lists.

Thirdly, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill FY2006 is passed by Congress and includes amended language to the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA), specifically stating that "an airport operator shall not be liable for any claims for damages filed in State or Federal court…" and applies to both an airport's application to opt-out as well as security activities performed by a qualified passenger and baggage screening company for passenger and baggage screening.

The bill provides for, among other things: $295 million for inline EDS installation; provisions that reduce the federal contribution for EDS Letters of Intent (LOIs) from 90 percent to 75 percent for large and medium hub airports; eliminates requirements that a portion of the EDS installation funds go to smaller airports; provides $175 million for EDS/ETD purchases, $45 million of which is designated to procure next-generation explosives detection systems, including in-line systems, which have been tested, certified, and piloted;" provides $165 million for checkpoint support; encourages TSA to widely test remote screening; maintains the 45,000 cap on TSA screeners and provides roughly $2.4 billion for screeners, while reducing the funding below the President's request for TSA regulatory and management staff by $46 million.

Fourthly, The FAA plans to grant Chicago the full $300 million the city requested for the first phase of a $15 billion makeover of O'Hare International Airport; meanwhile opposition groups are awarded a temporary stay on the project via a federal lawsuit.

Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Associations of which you may be a member, all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of pilots and taxpayers carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., and on the State and Local Level.

So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."



Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
E-mail address:

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