Hutchison Presses FAA and TSA to Improve Vetting of Airman Certificates

August 14, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today joined Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V) in pressing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to improve the vetting operations associated with the FAA’s Airman Certification program. Recent news articles have reported several incidents where the vetting system allowed individuals representing national security threats to retain their airman licenses, despite the enactment of laws that require the revocation or suspension of Airman Certificates for such individuals.

"Interagency cooperation is an integral part of an effective national anti-terrorism policy,” said Senator Hutchison. “Incidents like those outlined in recent press reports are not acceptable and I expect the FAA and the TSA, and all agencies for that matter, to work closely together to address any weaknesses in the system.  For the safety and security of our country, these loopholes must be closed.”

According to the FAA there are over 3.7 million airmen records, of which approximately 609,000 are active pilots.  Each year, the FAA issues more than 281,000 new airman certificates.



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