I did some checking too, and found out we don't know enough here either. Here's the message I sent to the New Mexico Airport Managers' Association asking for assistance. Maybe CAA can help too.
Hey NMAMA & State Aviation,
Has anyone evaluated the "12,500# and over" rules that apparently took effect yesterday (June 24)? See http://www.tsa.dot.gov/briefingroom/PressReleases/security_aircraft.shtm
It looks to me like the TSA implemented the rules as of yesterday, and plans to send out procedures to the aircraft operators, give them 30 days to comment, and implement the rules 30 days after that. The actual procedures are "sensitive security information (SSI) and must be protected in accordance with Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1520." So we airport managers may actually not get to see them.
Nevertheless, we may be requested/required to provide security support.
So, my question is if anyone knows or finds out what the procedures are going to require (and they are not classified to the point that we can't know them), I think we should communicate with each other to pass the word. For example, will they require police standing by, or sterile areas, or whether the operators are going to require some assistance from the airport.
The rules found in Part 1550.7 of the new TSA regulation, which was published in the Federal Register on Feb 22. You can download the thing at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2002_register&docid=02-4081-filed
(which is the FR for Feb 22).
Here're the actual paragraphs:
"Sec. 1550.7 Operations in aircraft of 12,500 pounds or more.
(a) Applicability of this section. This section applies to each aircraft operation conducted in an aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or more except for those operations specified in Sec. 1550.5 and those operations conducted under a security program under part 1544 or 1546 of this chapter.
(b) Procedures. Any person conducting an operation identified in paragraph (a) of this section must conduct a search of the aircraft before departure and screen passengers, crewmembers, and other persons and their accessible property (carry-on items) before boarding in accordance with security procedures approved by TSA.
(c) Compliance date. Persons identified in paragraph (a) of this section must implement security procedures when notified by TSA. TSA will notify operators by NOTAM, letter, or other communication when they must implement security procedures.
(d) Waivers. TSA may permit a person conducting an operation identified in this section to deviate from the provisions of this section if TSA finds that the operation can be conducted safely under the terms of the waiver."
Anybody with any info, please let us all know!
Ted Morris, Airport Manager
Got my info. from the NBAA website. Just had a phone conversation w another Airport Manager and this may not be as big an issue as I had thought. Are we talking just merely having a person with a wand check persons ? Or more ? It appears to me that the mandate doesn't have a lot of teeth as of yet...that is where comments in the NPRM process really come in handy. Comments from the people (us/we) in the trenches bring relevant concerns to the surface and then can be dealt w much better than making changes after in after the fact manner.