I fly 135 for a small (6 airplane) operator. The D.O. is leaning twards no badges. before i ask him why, does anyone know if they are required. I was flying part 91 when 911 hit, and we had to get badges right after that.
I'm sure that you've looked in your OPS specs manual to see if that is addressed there. Does your home airport have a requirement for badges on the ramp?
As far as the feds (TSA) are concerned, you only need a badge in the SIDA area, which is basically the air carrier ramp. The TSA couldn't give a rats patooey about anything associated with GA. This does not apply if you're going to DCA though. At some airports, you have to be escorted on the ramp if you're a visitor, same with your pax.
I find it occasionally makes it easier at some airports - BWI - IAD - MIA - TEB - possibly at Customs abroad (US Customs of course has to see your actual certificates vs ID - at least for our unscheduled 135 ops). Our home airport stopped allowing any access to the ramp via a vehicle gate (only escorted ambulance and cargo) after 9/11 - access "only" through the FBO keyed doors and passengers to be "escorted" by the flight crew. As tenants, if we need access to the FBO's operations door (to get our own coffee and ice since the FBO isn't reliable), the airport authority requires us to have airport ID badges (with a training class and recurrant exam). This is not a SIDA area (commercial side is about a mile on the other side of the airport). Otherwise not required. I think its a legit thing to have a standardized ID if it makes it a little more difficult for the undesireables.
I think any substantial operator should have ID Badges. We are given badges from the airport, but if you are a customer of Air Routing (not sure what type of equipment) you can get badges for free. I think IBAC has them for $50 also.