Break-ins renew call for Airport Watch

June 17, 2010

A rash of break-ins in South Dakota has prompted the Transportation Security Administration to issue an alert to airports, and AOPA is encouraging the general aviation community to follow the Airport Watch Program.

On June 14, the Pierre Regional Airport terminal and fire station in Pierre, S.D., were broken into between midnight and 4 a.m., and a set of rental car keys was taken, according to the TSA. The TSA said that local law enforcement officials believe the incident is similar to other break-ins that have occurred in South Dakota and Montana.

“Airport employees, pilots, and aircraft owners should remember to lock their aircraft and hangars, and use multiple locking devices,” said Brittney Miculka, AOPA manager of security and borders.

AOPA’s Airport Watch Program encourages pilots to use aircraft door locks when the aircraft is unattended, add auxiliary locks, consistently lock hangar doors, and close security gates. Anyone who notices suspicious activity—someone trying to access an aircraft through force, misusing aviation lingo, or performing out-of-the-ordinary videotaping of aircraft or hangars—should report it through the toll-free hotline (800/GA-SECURE).

For more security tips, take the General Aviation Security online course.