General Aviation (GA) is a vital component of the aviation sector and the national economy that accounts for some 77 percent of all flights in the United States. It encompasses a wide range of activities, from pilot training to flying for business and personal reasons, delivery of emergency medical services, and sightseeing. Operations range from short distance flights in single-engine light aircraft, to long-distance international flights in corporate-owned wide-body aircraft, and from emergency aero-medical helicopter operations to airships seen at open-air sporting events. The sole characteristic that General Aviation operations have in common is that flights are not routinely scheduled; they are “on-demand.”
The Office of Transportation Sector Network Management (TSNM) General Aviation Division works closely with the 17 associations that make up the General Aviation Coalition to ensure that security mandates are based on threat analysis and risk management, balanced with common sense. They recognize that one-size security does not fit all, and that different solutions are required for different environments and different classes of operators. They:
• Use a threat-based, risk management approach to develop strategies, policies, and programs to reduce the security risks and vulnerabilities associated with GA operations;
• Recognize the diversity that exists in the industry and that “one size” security does not fit all stakeholders;
• Work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop creative methods to enhance security and develop, disseminate, and consistently apply a framework of appropriate federal security standards;
• Understand the global impact of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security initiatives, and, where applicable, harmonize with international industry best practices and security measures.
To reduce the security risks and vulnerabilities associated with General Aviation operations through a threat-based, risk management approach.
What You Can Do To Help
TSA’s Office of General Aviation is committed to working with the industry and community to develop and implement reasonable and effective security measures. As part of these efforts, TSA has recently launched the General Aviation Secure Program. This program is designed to build upon the Airport Watch Program, encouraging everyone to be vigilant about General Aviation security and report any unusual activities to TSA. If it raises your suspicions, it might be a problem. For emergencies or time-sensitive issues, call 911 first.
Watch for the following:
• Aircraft with unusual modifications or activity.
• Pilots appearing to be under the control of others.
• Unfamiliar persons loitering around the airport.
• Suspicious aircraft lease or rental requests.
• Anyone making threats.
• Unusual, suspicious activities or circumstances.
Aircraft Security always comes first:
• Always lock your aircraft.
• Don’t leave keys in unattended aircraft.
• Use a secondary lock or aircraft disabler if available.
• Lock hangar when unattended.