Airport seeks delay for those who need federal access badges

Grand Junction Regional Airport will ask the federal government to ease up on people who have begun the process of getting access badges for the airport but won’t have them by the June 1 deadline.

Airport Manager Rex Tippetts told about 50 airport tenants Tuesday that the Transportation Security Administration hasn’t relented on its requirements that all of the nation’s airports offering commercial and general aviation issue badges to pilots, mechanics and others who are in the airport operating area.

“We have requested exemptions for all the people who are already in the system,” Tippetts said.

No immediate answer has been forthcoming, he said.

The administration also made no change to its requirement that the entire airport be secured, Tippetts said. That would require miles of security fencing around the airport.

Private pilots, legislators and others have complained that a security directive that becomes effective Monday will harm general aviation because of the difficulty of obtaining badges for each airport a pilot might visit.

A TSA spokeswoman last week said the agency loosened restrictions on pilots seeking to refuel or make other arrangements at airports for which they did not have badges.

Tippetts said, however, he had yet to see a change in the directive, which is issued only to airport officials.


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