AOA security badge for minor on GA ramp
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My airport KPAE does not allow minors (my 13 year old daughter) to get an AOA security badge for the GA hangar area. Commercial operations and TSA badging arrived last year so everyone is new to these requirements. They state a drivers license is required (must therefore be 16) and an enhanced state ID with background check is not acceptable. She can no longer go around the hangar corner to watch planes on runway or go to the nearby bathroom without me in direct line of sight, which she has been doing responsibly for the last 5 years. Does anyone know of a path for a minor to get an AOA badge per TSA requirements, or other airports that allow it as evidence I can present to my airport? I have hope as KSLC does allow minors but need more evidence and hopefully details. I feel powerless as all rules/regulations are hidden for security (SSI). All questions to TSA have been returned with worthless canned responses and refer me back to my airport. My daughter wants to fly and become a pilot but no longer likes going to the airport since TSA rules arrived and "locked" her inside hangar. Thanks for any thoughts.
4 Replies
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You would think, but security drives through our GA hangar area regularly and airport staff (thankfully not TSA) have already talked with me twice already. Others have had similar warnings. Not willing to risk up to a $10k fine based on the government using common sense ;) . I contacted AOPA governmental affairs and they were very helpful and confirmed there are no TSA restrictions on minors and helped get some info from other area commercial airports that allow minors with no issues. Yay AOPA!!! Just need to work through it now with my airport. So initial ask still stands if anyone has info on their airport rules for allowing minors. The more data I have the better (The bigger the hammer the faster to drive the nail!).
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1021 Posts
I think I'd just let her stay close and be very apologetic if someone says something -- forgiveness vs permission, and all that.  But I don't see anyone at the airport getting upset if you're within shouting distance and she's not doing anything silly.  It's not like TSA has people prowling around the private hangars half a mile and across a couple of taxiways from the passenger terminal at airports like PAE hunting for youngsters 2 feet out of sight of their parents.
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I agree unsupervised AOA full ramp access would be a poor choice but that is not what I am asking. TSA security rules state an escorted person must be in physical sight 100% of the time or it’s a several thousand dollar fine and risk of losing badge. Literly going around the corner of my hanger door 2 feet to view the runway is out of sight and in violation even though I can talk to her the whole time. When either of us go to the bathroom just around corner of adjacent hangar we must both go otherwise it’s a violation. She does not need driving, gate access, or escort privileges as I provide that for her and that would not be appropriate for a minor. She has grown up around the airport and is very responsible in following the narrow rules I have set for her which include staying against our hangar wall, specific route to bathroom, and not crossing any taxiway. She is not allowed to freely roam the whole AOA unsupervised. My use cases fall into the common sense level of supervised responsibility a 13 year old should have, but the government is not known to apply common sense when there is a rule violation. Hence desire to avoid a violation by getting her a badge or risk destroying her enthusiasm (already happening) for aviation by being locked in the hangar with me 100% of the time.
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1021 Posts
I'm not sure someone that young should be out on the ramp unsupervised.