The Transportations Security Administration (TSA) will likely not require tougher security regulations for small private planes. Regulations that were to go into would have mandated small private planes check their passengers to terrorist watch lists. Additionally, planes that have a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or heavier would have been required to conduct security background checks of the pilots and perform other security assessments. Instead, the new standards are being bumped up to planes that have a maximum takeoff weight of 25,000 pounds. Also, the background of passengers of small private planes will be left to the discretion of the pilots.
The TSA has faced pressure from the aviation industry to not implement the regulations. Proponents for rolling back the requirements argue that private planes pilots generally know their passengers and that the security measures would have been unduly burdensome. On the other side of the debate there are concerns that the security measures are needed to protect against a terrorist attack by small aircraft. “It’s a victory for the general-aviation lobby and a loss for security,” said Stewart Baker, assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009. “There’s no good reason to exempt jets that [carry 10 to 12 passengers] from a simple check of passengers’ identities.”
The roll back in potential regulations applies almost exclusively to domestic flights.
Read more at the Washington Post.