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Business aviation “extremely concerned” on proposed US border rules

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  • Business aviation “extremely concerned” on proposed US border rules

    Worrysome.....

    DATE:01/01/08
    SOURCE:Flightglobal.com

    By John Croft

    International aviation trade associations slammed the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) proposed rules outlining new methods for how private aircraft will be allowed to enter or depart the country as the rule's public comment period came to a close on 4 December.

    DHS had extended the period 15 days from 19 November at the request of the trade organisations.

    "EBAA is extremely concerned that the considerable number of requirements included in the proposed rule will have an enormous and inacceptable impact on our member operations," wrote the European Business Aviation Association.

    "EBAA is also worried that the operational and economic impact assessment undertaken by the DHS is grossly underestimated as our own assessment indicates that the impact will be considerably higher."

    The DHS in its economic impact study had assumed that passengers and crew of private jets earn on average $37.20 an hour (about $75,000 a year), according to EBAA, while a Transportation Security Administration agent's time was valued at $62.43 per hour.

    Among the more onerous new requirements in the proposal, according to critics, are requirements that private aircraft transmit notice of arrival information to US border patrol agents via an internet site no later than an hour before departure.

    If an internet connection is not available, the aircraft must land at another location where the data can be transmitted and pilots will be forced to wait for border patrol approval before departing and there is a provision that nullifies the notice of arrival information transmission if the manifest changes after the data has been sent.

    "The US often takes for granted the wide availability of a reliable resource connection to the internet," wrote Douglas Carr, vice-president of safety, security and regulation for the National Business Aviation Association regarding the data transmission requirement.

    "In most parts of the world, internet availability is a scarce resource and difficult to secure." NBAA is also concerned about a provision that would allow crews to hire third-party companies to submit the data.

    "By proposing to mandate the exclusive use of an internet-based manifest system, the Bureau has essentially justified, through Federal rulemaking, a higher-cost third-party involvement."

    Similar concerns were voiced by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, including questions about the security of the manifest data over time.

    "The security of personal information and its potential for accidental or internal release is a concern to GAMA since this is the first time such detailed aircraft and passenger information on GA operations is being collected and stored by the federal government," wrote Brian Riley, GAMA's vice-president for government affairs.
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