The Transportation Security Administration will review the fiery crash of a small plane into an IRS office building and use that information to shape future anti-terrorism regulations for private airplanes.
The review is the first in which the TSA has studied a crash involving a private plane.
TSA Assistant Administrator John Sammon said the agency is hiring an aviation expert to study reports by the FBI and other agencies on the Feb. 18 crash in Austin that killed two and extensively damaged a seven-story building. Sammon said the review would provide information to help the TSA understand how much damage and how many deaths could be caused by a small plane flown into an office building. He said it is too soon to tell what rules, if any, may be changed as a result of the review.
The TSA has never previously sought to regulate small private planes, and in the past has focused on 15,000 larger and faster private jets that it said in a report "could be used effectively to commit a terrorist act," he said. A 2008 TSA proposal, widely opposed by businesses and aviation groups, seeks to require private-jet passengers to be checked against watch lists. It also aims to require jet operators to keep weapons, including pocket knives, off their planes, and to force 315 airports used only by private planes to enact security plans.