Enhancing the security of general aviation operations
AOPA, EAA, GAMA, HAI, and NBAA
Recommendations to the Transportation Security Administration
To prevent unauthorized use of aircraft, each owner/operator will take steps appropriate to the specific type of aircraft to secure it when unattended.
The identity of individuals renting or purchasing an aircraft or joining a flying club should be validated by checking a government-issued photo ID. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should evaluate creating a system to electronically compare these names against the federal government’s “watch list.”
Only authorized personnel should issue keys to rental/flying club aircraft, or an alternate system should be implemented by these clubs to protect against unauthorized use of an aircraft.
The TSA, in consultation with other appropriate government agencies, should develop and distribute a profile to identify individuals requiring additional scrutiny before they are allowed to buy, rent, receive pilot training, or be employed in areas where they are routinely allowed access to general aviation aircraft.
The FAA should ensure its database of aircraft owner information includes the name and mailing address of the primary operator(s) of each aircraft. Using the procedures it deems appropriate, the U.S. government should then review this operator registry to ensure these individuals or corporations are not associated with or supportive of any terrorist groups.
Prior to engine start, the pilot in command (PIC) of flights operated under CFR 14 Part 91 should ensure that the identity of all occupants is verified, all occupants are aboard at the invitation of the owner/operator, and that all baggage and cargo is known to the occupants.
The FAA pilot certificate should be modified to include a photograph of the pilot using a format that is difficult to counterfeit.
All first-time applicants for a U.S. pilot certificate should be required to show one form of government-issued identification that includes a photo. This form of identification must indicate country of citizenship.
Using procedures it deems appropriate, the U.S. government should immediately review the existing FAA registry of all active U.S. pilots and review new pilot applicants to ensure these individuals are not associated with or supportive of any terrorist groups.
Outdoor signage should be prominently displayed near areas of public access warning against tampering with aircraft or unauthorized use of aircraft. In addition, signage indicating the phone number for reporting suspicious activity should be placed in areas where pilots and/or ramp personnel gather.
Pilots should be advised to be on the lookout for suspicious activity on or near airports, including:
- Aircraft with unusual or unauthorized modifications;
- Persons loitering for extended periods in the vicinity of parked aircraft or in air operations areas;
- Pilots who appear to be under the control of other persons;
- Persons wishing to obtain aircraft without presenting proper credentials or persons who present apparently valid credentials but do not have a corresponding level of aviation knowledge; or
- Anything that doesn't look right (i.e., events or circumstances that do not fit the pattern of lawfulnormal activity at an airport).
December 12, 2001