I am sorry to hear that you were challenged and ejected from the
airport property when merely wanting to visit a memorial. I find
increasing security at the airports that ultimately will lead to near
gridlock to those of us who are trying to work in, or enjoy aviation.
I remember as a child being allowed into hangars with my father at
airports, and warmly welcomed at that. TSA as a government agency
needs to be responsive as our public servants; it is the public
that created aviation and pays their salary. Coming up with solutions
to maintain viable usage that does not limit access is what will
allow vibrant commerce, and hopefully at least, not contraction of
aviation as we (have) know(n) it. What has happened at Punta Gorda
needs to be addressed and a viable solution found before simply
locking away a part of our aviation heritage of openness. Certainly
the Experimental category is part of the American heritage,
consistent with the spirit of our country and a testament to what the
American spirit should be and hopefully not what it was. The idea
that we have lost ourselves to security means terrorists really have
won, that would be sad.
I believe that those who desire access to do wrong will tend find
a way regardless. A national ID, while I loathe the idea, is probably
part of the ultimate solution. I just wish it was still possible to
walk up to a hangar at night, with old aircraft projects stacked
outside ( a P-40 and a P-51 in my case as a kid) and then get up the
nerve to knock on the door and be invited warmly inside. That has
been a memory that I will carry for my lifetime. The possibility of
that must be kept for children today, or we will lose our American
spirit. We are heading that direction!
Could the person walking around be someone up to no good, maybe,
but probably a greater likelihood someone who just loves aviation.
The guy wanting to do wrong is probably cutting through the security
fence out back.