As members of the general aviation community, we must help ensure the safety and security of our airports and aircraft. This means that we take ownership of the situation. Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, AOPA’s Airport Watch program and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) teamed up to develop a curriculum that would help the general aviation community tap into resources to thwart security breaches at our airports. Flying clubs play an important role in airport security because of the greater presence and interaction the club and its members have at their airport.
Enter the General Aviation Security Course, which was recently updated with refreshed content, and is now delivered to your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. The interactive course offers practical guidance to limit opportunities for criminals and potential terrorists seeking access to aircraft at airports, flight schools, flying clubs and FBOs. It provides examples of suspicious activity at airports and ways to identify, confirm, and report such activity while staying safe.
GA airports and tenants vary by location and services offered, so the course covers topics that allow customization of the type of security practices that may be employed. For example, your club can select one of four custom tracks (flight schools, aircraft owners, renter pilots, and FBOs and flying clubs) to fit your club’s training needs. If your flying club members use club aircraft for flight training, the custom track for flight schools includes the TSA’s annual initial and recurrent security awareness training required to be taken by CFIs.
We like to think that it can’t happen at our airport, but unfortunately there are individuals who try to unlawfully gain access to airport property or our aircraft. So we must be vigilant and on the lookout for anyone who tries to falsely present themselves as a passenger, employee, or crewmember, or who attempts to gather passenger and aircraft data. Explore the security course with your members during one of your regular meetings and learn how to prevent unauthorized access to your hangars and aircraft.