WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced it will assume responsibility for ground security requirements and procedures at three general aviation (GA) airports located within the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone. Under TSA's interim final rule, transient operations will now be allowed to resume at the three airports. The three are College Park Airport, Potomac Airfield and Washington Executive/Hyde Field – commonly referred to as the "Maryland Three" airports.
"Increased access and enhanced security are powerful components of TSA's strategy for these three airports," said Rear Adm. David M. Stone, USN (Ret.), Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. "We remain grateful for the close partnership that TSA enjoys with the GA community."
The new rule, which was created specifically for the Maryland Three airports due to their location within the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone, takes into consideration the special security needs of the airports. The rule also grants access to pilots not based out of the Maryland Three airports, which was previously restricted under FAA regulations. Transient pilots will be able to access the airports if they comply with TSA-mandated security requirements and procedures. As a result, the airports will be able to accommodate more travelers and business while maintaining an appropriate level of security.
This latest initiative is one of numerous measures developed to enhance security of the GA industry. Other GA security initiatives include a toll free hotline for pilots to report suspicious activities at airports, a set of federally endorsed security guidelines for GA facilities, vetting of alien flight training candidates before they begin training, and security-enhanced pilot credentials.
The toll free hotline for GA pilots is (866) GA-SECUR.