Air Operations Area Defined

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Chapter XII, Subchapter C contains Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) rules for civil aviation security. Exerpts pertaining to the Air Operations Area appear below:

§ 1540.5 - Terms used in this subchapter.

In addition to the terms in part 1500 of this chapter, the following terms are used in this subchapter: Air operations area (AOA) means a portion of an airport, specified in the airport security program, in which security measures specified in this part are carried out. This area includes aircraft movement areas, aircraft parking areas, loading ramps, and safety areas, for use by aircraft regulated under 49 CFR part 1544 or 1546, and any adjacent areas (such as general aviation areas) that are not separated by adequate security systems, measures, or procedures. This area does not include the secured area.

§ 1542.203 Security of the air operations area (AOA).

(a) Each airport operator required to have a security program under §1542.103(a) must establish an AOA, unless the entire area is designated as a secured area.

(b) Each airport operator required to establish an AOA must prevent and detect the unauthorized entry, presence, and movement of individuals and ground vehicles into or within the AOA by doing the following:

(1) Establish and carry out measures for controlling entry to the AOA of the airport in accordance with §1542.207.

(2) Provide for detection of, and response to, each unauthorized presence or movement in, or attempted entry to, the AOA by an individual whose access is not authorized in accordance with its security program.

(3) Provide security information as described in §1542.213(c) to each individual with unescorted access to the AOA.

(4) Post signs on AOA access points and perimeters that provide warning of the prohibition against unauthorized entry to the AOA. Signs must be posted by each airport operator in accordance with its security program not later than November 14, 2003.

(5) If approved by TSA, the airport operator may designate all or portions of its AOA as a SIDA, or may use another personnel identification system, as part of its means of meeting the requirements of this section. If it uses another personnel identification system, the media must be clearly distinguishable from those used in the secured area and SIDA.

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