Industry has welcomed changes to the US Transportation Safety Agency's (TSA) final rule on private charter security, which takes effect on 1 February. The rule has been revised to increase the threshold for compliance to a maximum take-off weight of 45,500kg (100,200lb) and seating for 61 or more passengers.

The emergency rule published by the TSA in June last year affected aircraft with maximum weights of 43,300kg or more and did not set a passenger seating threshold. The weight and seating thresholds in the revised final rule effectively exclude purpose-designed business jets from compliance.

"The new rule adopts an international security standard to capture the appropriate group of aircraft," says the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, while combining weight and seating capacity as the threshold "eliminated confusion in the marketplace". The rule requires private charter operators to ensure that passengers and carry-on bags are screened before boarding.

Foreign business-aircraft operators flying into the USA will not be required to meet hardened cockpit door requirements, under the final flightdeck security rule issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration at the end of 2002. The revised rule exempts foreign transport-category aircraft originally certificated with 19 seats or fewer.

Source: Flight International