AOPA STEPS UP EFFORTS
TO REDUCE FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS
is AOPA's Airport Watch?
Click below to learn about
Airport Watch http://www.aopa.org/asn/watchindex.shtml
Use your eyes and
ears to keep our airports safe
what to look for:
Pilots who appear under
the control of someone else.
Anyone trying to access an aircraft through force - without keys,
using a crowbar or screwdriver.
Anyone who seems unfamiliar with aviation procedures trying to
check out an airplane.
Anyone who misuses aviation lingo - or seems too eager to use
all the lingo
People or groups who seem determined to keep to themselves.
Any members of your airport neighborhood who work to avoid contact
with you or other airport tenants.
Anyone who appears to be just loitering, with no specific reason
for being there.
Any out-of-the-ordinary videotaping of aircraft or hangars.
Aircraft with unusual or obviously unauthorized modifications.
Dangerous cargo or loads - explosives, chemicals, openly displayed
weapons - being loaded into an airplane.
Anything that strikes you as wrong - listen to your gut instinct,
and then follow through.
Pay special attention to height, weight, and the individual's
clothing or other identifiable traits.
Use your common sense.
Not all these items indicate
When in doubt, check it
Check with airport staff or call
the National Response Center
Homeland Security issues general aviation
May 2 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last night
issued an "Advisory to General Aviation" to be alert
for unusual or suspicious activities at general aviation airports.
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) representative
told AOPA that while no new airspace restrictions are anticipated,
DHS felt that because of information and analysis from the Terrorist
Threat Integration Center received in the last 24 hours, the
advisory was necessary. The advisory sites "recent reliable
reports" indicating that al Qaida is in the last stages
of planning an aerial suicide attack against the U.S. Consulate
in Karachi, Pakistan. Although no information was provided about
any threats in the United States, pilots are being asked to report
all unusual or suspicious activities at airports.
"AOPA fully supports
heightened vigilance and has shown this commitment through the
AOPA Airport Watch Program," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
"However, we're very concerned about the sweeping generalizations
in the DHS advisory that aren't necessarily accurate."
For example, the advisory
states that a GA aircraft "loaded with explosives is the
equivalent of a medium-sized truck bomb." That is far from
reality for the majority of GA aircraft. The typical general
aviation aircraft, particularly one that could be flown by a
"less skilled pilot," can only carry several hundred
pounds. The "medium-sized truck bomb" that killed six
in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 weighed 1,500
Nevertheless, pilots should
do their part and watch for persons loitering in areas with aircraft,
aircraft with unusual modifications, persons who appear to be
under stress or under the control of other persons, and persons
loading unusual payload into aircraft.
Suspicious activity should
be reported using the toll free Airport Watch general aviation
hotline at 866-GA-SECURE.