In just a few days, every pilot in the United States will be receiving an Airport Watch security reminder in the mail from AOPA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And that's certainly timely, particularly since the TSA is asking all pilots to review Airport Watch procedures in light of the foiled terrorist plot in the United Kingdom.
That's the message to more than 600,000 pilots and thousands of others in the general aviation industry from AOPA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
It's part of AOPA and the TSA's updated AOPA Airport Watch program.
"Airport Watch works. We know it. The TSA knows it," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Now we've completely updated the program, incorporating all we've learned since it started nearly four years ago."
Every pilot in the United States will receive a letter from AOPA and the TSA, a brochure, and an Airport Watch decal. In addition, airport managers, state aviation directors, select state legislators, and many FAA offices will receive a training DVD about Airport Watch.
AOPA urges pilots and airport managers alike to share the information and materials with everyone at their airport.
"Airport Watch is a simple, cost-effective program that works at all airports," said Boyer. "If eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, then we're taking this opportunity to remind pilots to protect their freedom to fly by keeping a watchful eye on their local airports."
Airport Watch was modeled after the successful neighborhood watch program and calls on pilots, aircraft owners, business owners, and others who are regularly at their local airport, to be the eyes and ears needed to keep that area secure. The program also encourages pilots to lock their airplanes and hangars after each use and to ask others to do the same.
If you notice something suspicious, report it by calling the toll-free hotline, 866/GA-SECUR[E], which is staffed 24/7 by TSA employees. Every incident that is reported is investigated.
If an immediate response is needed, call 911.
View a video message from TSA chief Kip Hawley.
August 10, 2006