AOPA's Airport Watch

Lock Up—Secure Your Airplane

Lock Up

How to be more secure:

  • Become familiar with and practice existing airport security procedures.
  • Utilize aircraft door locks at all times when the aircraft is unattended.
  • Consider the use of auxiliary locks to further protect aircraft from unauthorized use.
  • Consistently lock hangar doors and close security gates to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.
  • Properly secure ignition keys separate from aircraft.
Propeller lock

Security begins with your own aircraft. Crime usually happens because of opportunity, while terrorism is generally pre-planned and choreographed. Don't ever make it easy for either. Similar actions can be taken to avoid both crime and terrorism. Always secure your aircraft. Most pilots do this by locking the aircraft's doors, regardless of whether the aircraft is hangared or tied down outside.

Many owners already use auxiliary locks to further protect their aircraft from unauthorized use. If you don't, consider how much less expensive it is to add a lock than to have someone steal your aircraft. Options available include a variety of locks for propellers, throttle, and prop controls. Pilot supply catalogs have a wide range of products to deter tampering and the theft of your aircraft.

Once your aircraft is locked, take home all your keys—aircraft, hangar, and auxiliary locks. To make it as difficult as possible for someone to gain access to your aircraft, you might want to consider whether you keep your aircraft key on the same keychain as your hangar key. Little changes can make all the difference.

Together we can make general aviation an unattractive option to terrorist or criminals!

Participate with your fellow pilots in the safekeeping of general aviation's local neighborhoods—our home airports. Report suspicious activity to 866/GA-SECURE (866/427-3287).