Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today

Security for general aviation at airports in enhanced Class B airspaceSecurity for general aviation at airports in enhanced Class B airspace

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has developed the following security enhancements for implementation at the airports located inside the recently established "enhanced" Class B (ECB) airspace. A companion plan for operational restrictions was submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on October 10, 2001.

The need for VFR flying in the 30 areas of ECB airspace includes:

  • 90 percent of all general aviation operations are VFR
  • 282 public-use airports are affected by the ECB
  • 22 million annual operations occur at the affected airports
  • 41,000 aircraft are located at airports inside ECB
  • 120,000 pilots operate at airports inside ECB
  • Fixed cost of aircraft ownership continues to accrue (principle/interest, insurance, hangar/tiedown, annual maintenance inspection)
  • Aviation businesses at affected airports are facing bankruptcy

AOPA recommends the following security measures for airports located within ECB airspace:


  • Utilize local law enforcement
    • Periodic patrols of the airport
  • Transient (non-based) pilots register aircraft with airport/fixed-base operator (FBO) upon arrival and notify at departure
  • Post contact information to report suspicious activity/emergencies

Airport businesses/flight schools/flying clubs

  • Verify identity of all aircraft renters through photo ID
  • Only authorized personnel dispatch keys to rental/flying club aircraft
  • Aircraft remain locked/secured when unattended
  • Refueling vehicles remain locked/secured when unattended

Individual aircraft owners

  • Use of anti-theft devices/lockable control surface devices
  • Locks on hangars to protect from unauthorized entry
  • Secure aircraft/remove keys when unattended
  • Encourage pilots to escort visitors at all times
  • Aircraft departing for extended periods of time should notify airport management/FBO

Voluntary airport community watch program

  • Coordinated locally by pilots/airport officials
  • Establish a community monitoring "network"
  • Encourage proactive participation in:
    • Aircraft security
    • Facility security
    • Heightened awareness
  • Post signs promoting the program warning that the airport is watched
  • Provide training for suspicious activity and appropriate response tactics
  • Utilize law enforcement personnel for airport community education
  • Periodic meetings of airport community
Topics: ADSB

Related Articles