EAAers’ Battle For Rights And Privileges Continues
Although statements and actions from the Obama administration suggest the possibility of new avenues of advocacy and debate, the public comment period’s Feb. 27 deadline remains unchanged and the TSA has indicated that it will continue with the rulemaking process until instructed to do otherwise.
A new outlook?
Macnair elaborated on this philosophical bent, citing comments from the President’s inaugural address: Mr. Obama said on Tuesday, “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals…Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”
“Certainly, this comment is broad and may allude more directly to other contemporary events,” Macnair said. “Nonetheless, any discussion about refusing to sacrifice our American ideals in the name of safety and security also should apply to the TSA’s proposed limits on aviators’ civil liberties.”
A challenge to the affordability, the societal contribution, and the freedom of flight
Perhaps the greatest concern, however, has been the civil-liberties implications. If implemented, the TSA proposals would for the first time require advance governmental review and authority before a person could operate his own personal transportation conveyance. These requirements would include fingerprinting and performing background checks on all flight crews, vetting passengers against the government’s terrorist watch lists before every flight, and imposing numerous and costly security requirements on airports serving “large” aircraft.
A call to action
In the meantime, your EAA Government Relations representatives believe Congress must be alerted to the aviation community’s cause and the economic and civil liberties issues that are at stake.
Please contact your representatives in The House and Senate.
To write a letter to your representatives in the House and Senate, use the following links:
House of Representatives
Here are some talking points that summarize the EAA community’s concerns. Please relate these to your own circumstances and put them in your own words:
These comments are in response to the TSA LASP
[Introduce yourself and briefly relate your connection to aviation.]
The unnecessary and heavy-handed security measures proposed by DHS and its TSA division would strangulate personal aviation. Although we all support protecting our national security, we object to how personal aviation is being singled out and undeservedly maligned as a threat. The severity of the proposed limitations and requirements vastly outweighs any threat that the operation of our aircraft might pose.
We object to the LASP because:
It would significantly curtail or eliminate numerous historic aircraft operations that bring valuable inspirational, educational, and entertainment benefits to society;
It threatens to undermine the fundamental liberties and privileges of U.S. citizens;
It could represent only a first step in a broader security policy that would risk suffocating the nation’s valuable general-aviation activities; and
It would misappropriate TSA’s attention and focus, applying disproportionately vast resources and onerous restrictions to a comparatively limited area of risk.
War-veteran aviation enthusiasts are struck by the incongruity between the values and liberties that they fought to defend and the government’s attempts to severely limit their freedoms today. Some of these individuals have been flying around the country in restored aircraft that defended our freedoms, using the aircraft to tell their story, share their history, and inspire Americans to understand the value of the freedoms for which veterans fought and sacrificed. Ironically, the proposed restrictions and requirements would strip these same individuals of the freedoms for which they had fought.
Please remind your friends in the aviation community to join with EAAers in rallying behind this cause.
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