"General aviation refers to all flights other than scheduled airline flights and military aviation. General aviation accounts for 77% of all flights in the United States and is a vital component of the national economy. It includes the very large air cargo transport sector, air medical-ambulance operations, flight schools, corporate aviation, and privately owned aircraft. General aviation activity frequently takes place alongside scheduled airline operations at large commercial airports, as well as at more than 5,000 public use airports, almost all of which serve general aviation exclusively. This review was conducted at the request of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, House Committee on Homeland Security. Our objectives were to identify Transportation Security Administration security requirements for general aviation airports, threats to general aviation, measures taken to secure general aviation, steps nonfederal stakeholders have taken to enhance the security of general aviation, and any 'incidents of concern' with security at general aviation airports. In addition, we evaluated allegations of security vulnerabilities at three Houston-area general aviation airports. These allegations were presented in an investigative report by a local television station. We determined that general aviation presents only limited and mostly hypothetical threats to security. We also determined that the steps general aviation airport owners and managers have taken to enhance security are positive and effective."
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OIG-09-69
United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General: http://www.dhs.gov/oig/