Securing General Aviation
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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General aviation GA--a catch-all category that includes about 54 of all civilian aviation activity within the United States--encompasses a wide range of airports, aircraft, and flight operations. Because GA plays a small but important role in the U.S. economy, improving upon GA security without unduly impeding air commerce or limiting the freedom of movement by air remains a significant challenge. However, policymakers have received mixed signals about the relative security risk posed by GA, due to its diversity and a general lack of detailed information regarding the threat and vulnerability of various GA operations. While some recent high-profile breaches of GA security point to persisting vulnerabilities and limited intelligence information suggest a continued terrorist interest in using GA aircraft, it is evident that GA airports, aircraft, and operations vary considerably with regard to security risk. While the small size and slow speed of most GA aircraft significantly limit the risk they pose, some experts still fear that they could be used as a platform for a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack. Certain sectors of GA, such as crop dusters and larger business aircraft, present more specific risks because of their unique capabilities and aircraft characteristics.
- Terminal Flight Facilities
- Commercial and General Aviation