Australia's Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has mounted a campaign against the government's new aviation security measures.

These include requiring the country's 30,000 licensed pilots to pay for their own security checks - costing A$200 ($150) - and installing anti-theft devices on general aviation aircraft.

The measures completed the legislative process in December, with GA aircraft required to have anti-theft devices fitted by 5 March. The Department of Transport says GA aircraft must be left uncovered so that they can be seen to have control locks - a requirement AOPA members are opposed to. "We think these measures are a political over-reaction and show the government hasn't got a clue about aviation security," says AOPA vice-president Andrew Kerans.

Most contentious are the background checks - actions that have no reason, according to Kerans. AOPA adds that sport aircraft, a number of which have greater speed and payload than many GA aircraft, are exempt from the measures.

AOPA has asked the pilots to donate to a fighting fund, which will be used to lobby the government. "We see it as our role to educate them [the government] and show them that GA is an important part of our economy and that we are prepared to fight to defend it," he adds.

Source: Flight International