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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Security Directives

General Aviation

Security Advisories

We want to remind general aviation aircraft and airport owners and operators to review the security measures contained in the TSA Information Publication, Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's Airport Watch Program materials.

The theft of any GA aircraft should be immediately reported to the appropriate authorities and the TSA General Aviation Hotline at 866-GA SECURE (866-427-3287).

In addition, GA aircraft and airport owners and operators are encouraged to consider the following:

  • Secure unattended aircraft to prevent unauthorized use.
  • Verify the identification of crew and passengers prior to departure.
  • Verify that baggage and cargo are known to the persons on board.
  • Where identification systems are in place, encourage employees to wear proper identification and challenge persons not wearing proper identification.
  • Direct increased vigilance to unknown pilots and/or clients for aircraft or helicopter rental or charters – as well as unknown service/delivery personnel.
  • Be alert/aware of and report persons masquerading as pilots, security personnel, emergency medical technicians, or other personnel using uniforms and/or vehicles as methods to gain access to aviation facilities or aircraft.
  • Be alert/aware of and report aircraft with unusual or unauthorized modifications.
  • Be alert/aware of and report persons loitering in the vicinity of aircraft or air operations areas – as well as persons loading unusual or unauthorized payload onto aircraft.
  • Be alert/aware of and report persons who appear to be under stress or the control of other persons.
  • Be alert/aware of and report persons whose identification appears altered or inconsistent.

Click here to read our security advisory for flight schools and flight training providers dated Sept. 1, 2006. (PDF, 41.6KB)

Security Action Items

These voluntary action items are measures that aircraft operators and fixed base operators should consider when they develop, implement or revise security plans or in other efforts to enhance security. These action items are intended to provide guidance to aircraft operators and fixed base operators as they implement security measures best suited to their particular circumstances. The Security Action Items (SAI) should not conflict in any way with operational requirements outlined in federal regulations.

TSA recognizes that a wide diversity of operations exist within General Aviation (GA), and some of the suggested security measures may not be suitable for all operators, especially those with smaller-scale operations. Consequently, there are recommendations and guidelines contained in these documents that might be considered highly beneficial for one type of operator while being virtually impossible to implement for another. The purpose of these documents is to provide a list of options, ideas, and suggestions for the aircraft operator to choose from when considering implementation of security enhancements.

Airport Security Guidelines

In April 2003, TSA requested the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) establish a Working Group made up of industry stakeholders to develop guidelines for security enhancements at the nation's privately and publicly owned and operated GA landing facilities. This listing of recommended guidelines or "best practices" was designed to establish non-regulatory standards for general aviation airport security. Their primary purpose is to help prevent the unauthorized use of a general aviation aircraft in an act of terrorism against the United States.

The Working Group consisted of GA industry associations, airport operators, and state and federal government representatives. Members of the Working Group engaged in extensive discussions to review numerous general aviation airport security recommendations and industry best practices. The result of this effort was the "Report of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee Working Group on Aviation Airports Security" (PDF, 234KB).

On Nov. 17, 2003, the ASAC formally transmitted the recommendations to TSA. TSA used this document as a baseline from which to craft this Information Publication (IP). This IP, titled, "Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports" (PDF, 701KB), constitutes a set of federally endorsed guidelines for enhancing airport security at GA facilities throughout the nation. It is intended to provide GA airport owners, operators, and users with guidelines and recommendations that address aviation security concepts, technology, and enhancements.

Latest revision: 22 December 2012