Pages

Monday, February 16, 2009

Trying to see the bright side...

The man is freaking out about new regulations that could pose/have already instated restrictions to private aviation. I don't blame him. We have our own plane, and it allows us the freedom to go where we want, pretty much when we want, with very little hassle. The gov't is trying to change all that.

Already in place is a bit of legislation that requires private pilots to register any flight in to or out of this country (currently voluntary, but will become mandatory in May of this year). Most people's first reaction to this is, "It's OK, it's for safety and security." Excuse me, but one of the freedoms that we have is the ability to come/go as we please, provided we follow the rules of whatever country we are trying to visit. It's not a huge departure from existing post-911 rules, which require a passport to re-enter the United States and go through customs. That is fairly reasonable. But when they tell me that I have to have authorization to EXIT my country FROM MY OWN GOV'T, I have a problem with that. (If the country I were to visit required extra steps, I would have no choice but to comply... And I would do so willingly.)

I have to go on a website to register my personal, private flight with customs, give them detailed information about who and what is on my plane. Then they check their "lists" and tell me IF I can go... If someone who is on my plane is on the "No-Fly List", then the flight gets delayed, and that person cannot go, etc etc...

Then, I have to register AGAIN to come into my country, by internet only!!! WTF!!! Places that we have wanted to go in Canada are in the bush... We have always made arrangements to go and then we call Customs here in Juneau on the radio on our way back in, so they can meet the plane... Apparently, this isn't good enough any more.

I've even seen in some of the posts in relation to this that IF you don't have the proper "clearance", they will go so far as to scramble jets to "escort" you out of the air... Seems a bit extreme to me...

Then today, the man clued me into another bit of legislation that is currently in the "proof of concept" stage, involving Anchorage. Basically, the FBO's (Fixed-Base Operators - where you buy your fuel, get weather data, etc...) are to participate in a "secure" setting, requesting information on all flights using their facilities. At this point, it is optional. If you "opt-out" of this, your flight gets listed as "not-secure". At this point, nothing happens to you if you are listed as "not-secure", but if this actually comes to fruition across the country, JUST WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU ARE LISTED AS "NOT-SECURE"? I haven't found anything stating the ramifications of not participating in this "security" measure...

He was also spouting off about us not being able to carry survival equipment in our planes anymore (guns, knives, food, etc). I haven't found where this documentation is yet, so I won't comment on it at this point. But, if that is actually going to happen, that is completely STUPID! In Alaska, you pretty much have to fly with survival gear INCLUDING a gun/rifle. If you go down in the wilderness, they want you to be able to provide for yourself while you wait for search & rescue to find you. It's one of the things that extends your chance of survival. I, for one, will not be participating in that bit of garbage, if it actually comes to pass. I take responsibility for my own actions, and I don't go anywhere in the plane without a backpack full of supplies.

I am seeing my personal freedoms slowly go away... All under the guise of safety & security... It's scary and maddening...

4 comments:

Someday said...

I think it's a case of failing to think through all of the ramifications prior to implementing on the part of the government. As if that's never happened before. They've failed to realize that what works in the lower 48 may not really work for Alaska. I'm hardly a geography expert, but it seems like it would be pretty hard to get out of Alaska WITHOUT going international...

Jamie said...

As my husband and I sit here reading your post, he brings up a poignant issue. Aren't these the freedoms that our troops fought hard for? Died for? Aren't these the freedoms that have always separated the U.S. from other world powers? What is becoming of our nation when as you say, our personal freedoms are being stripped away all in the name of safety and security. If we have to have permission to leave the country now, will this mean we have to have permission to cross state borders next? What kind of country am I bringing my children up to live in?

GeronimoDriver said...

A people who would trade freedom for security deserve neither , and will surely lose both.

Vgerdeb said...

People wanted change, and they got it. I think we can count on losing our freedoms, one at a time.