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General Aviation Security

Michigan Department of Transportation
Office of Aeronautics
General Aviation Security Advisory

Report suspicious activity to the TSA at 866-GA-SECURE

Recommended Best Practices for Airport Security

  • Access to the aircraft operations area, or "air side," of the airport is controlled. Only individuals with a legitimate need should be able gain access.
  • Owners of vehicles parked on the premises (especially for an extended period) are known.
  • Gates which provide access to aircraft operating areas are kept closed and locked. The distribution of keys, entry codes, or access cards is controlled.
  • The airport perimeter is clearly marked with appropriate signs.
  • The identity of charter customers, flight students, and aircraft renters is established.
  • Strangers are identified and challenged.
  • A log of transient aircraft is kept and retained for a reasonable period of time.
  • Hangar tenants and contents are known. This is especially important if the airport allows tenants to sublease hangars.
  • Aircraft are locked or otherwise immobilized when not attended. Propeller locks, throttle lock, or locking chocks are effective options.
  • Access to aircraft keys is controlled.
  • A communication plan is established. This should involve airport management, tenants, renters, and other regular users. It may involve regular meetings, newsletters, bulletin boards, phone trees, e-mail lists, and web sites. Contact information for local law enforcement, FBI, and other appropriate agencies is readily available for airport staff and tenants. Emergency numbers are posted prominently near phones. The Michigan Office of Aeronautics and local law enforcement agencies should have twenty-four hour contact information for the manager, assistant manager, and other designated individuals.
  • Procedures for closing the airport are established. This should include a means of closing the airport for departures while still allowing aircraft to land if necessary. It is strongly recommended that the runway not be physically blocked.
  • Procedures for notifying tenants and local pilots of airspace closures or other restrictions are established.
  • Airport is patrolled by local law enforcement during hours of non-attendance.
  • Local law enforcement personnel are involved in developing and implementing the security plan. Ideally, a mutual letter of understanding should be developed which outlines each party's role in maintaining airport security.