The General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) was enacted in 1994, so as to offer protection to aircraft manufactures against accidents of aircrafts that have been in existence for more than 18 years (Kolczynski, 2001). This implies that general aviation aircraft manufacturers enjoy immunity against litigation expenses and liability exposure, if any of their aircrafts that are more than 18 years gets involved in an accident.
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It is necessary to note that GARA was established to offer protection for established aviation manufactures only. Consequently, any new manufacturers will have their requests rejected until they turn 18 years old in the industry. For this reason, a company that was set up in 2009 will not enjoy protection until 2027 when it would have turned 18 years.
Just like other legislations, the GARA has loopholes in terms of protection that it offers. For instance, when legislation came into force in 1994, it offered amnesty for aircrafts that had been in operation for more than 18 years. This protection covered all manufactures, including those whose defective designs caused accidents leading to injuries and deaths. The actions of such manufactures, therefore, remained unpunished (Elias, 2009). There are also some parts whose life spans are characteristically short, in which case they are not safe even if they disposed at firms that meet the GARA requirements. This law, therefore, claims to protect part manufacturers. Finally, the act may give an opportunity to aviation manufacturers to produce products whose lifespan is just slightly above 18 years because of the immunity thereafter, as opposed to when they could manufacture aircrafts lasting for about 40 years.
Kolczynski (2001) outlines that since its creation; GARA has had a devastating effect on parties such as pilots and aircraft owners, overhaul professionals and mechanics, because plane crash litigation in general aviation has been shifted to them from the manufacturer. This has left many courts surprised because the manufacturer cannot be sued by such parties including the pilot; in fact the pilot may be sued for negligence. Those suffering many lawsuits are maintenance facilities and the mechanics because, if the manufacturer is not held accountable, the focus will be turned to those charged with the maintenance. Such arguments have always raised bitter war of words on the floor of the court.
It is true that small GA airfields are an easy access point for aviation-minded terrorists because, in most cases, they fail to employ stringent security measures. This is because effective implementation of measures to prevent terrorism is not only extremely expensive but also highly intensive in resource consumption. Fencing alone cannot help to prevent access to terrorists; hence other forms of actions should be employed; however, due to high expenses, for instance involved in technological measures, many small airfields are left prone to acts of terrorism (NaCTSO, 2010).
Finally, some of the passive securities measures serve as a form of risk management within the airport. These include establishing of a “full-range passive spatial video checking” to protect people at the airport. Other passive measures are denying non passengers an opportunity to check in at the access gate or at curbside, engaging metal detectors and heat sensors among others (Elias, 2009).
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