General aviation airports and aircraft frequently are the victims of crime. Most often, this crime includes the theft of aircraft and parts, particularly expensive avionics, and vandalism. At its extreme, aviation crime can include terrorism and hijacking.
Similar to residential and business crime prevention, aviation crime prevention is primarily a matter of identifying potential risks and taking appropriate measure to eliminate or minimize them.
The following are a series of crime prevention recommendations for general aviation airports and aircraft.
General Aviation Airports
· Arriving crews should be required to check in with operations personnel. A list of authorized persons and/or crewmembers who might make request for service should be required.
· If an employee of the airport is given custody of aircraft keys, only the shift manager should have access to them. Keys should only be returned to the aircraft captain. Aircraft logbooks should also be secured.
· A call back telephone number should be required for a request for aircraft service. This call back number should be utilized whenever aircraft service is requested by telephone.
· The name and number of a primary contact to confirm authorized departure instructions should be required. The primary contact can be the captain, owner, company flight department, etc.
· Flight line personnel should be observant of transient aircraft. Is the registration number altered or just doesn’t look right? Are the windows covered? Is there mud and dirt in and on landing gear and underside of the aircraft? Possible indication the aircraft may be stolen or smuggling.
· Payments for services are normally made by credit card. Such payments by cash may be suspect and reason to check with authorized persons representing the aircraft.
· Airports should provide secure hangers and aircraft tie downs. Every hanger should be locked, alarmed and possibly guarded.
· Access to aircraft should be limited to owners, pilots, service personnel and appropriate authorized personnel. The general public should never be permitted unescorted access to aircraft.
· Good lighting should be focused upon control points, hangers, tie down and ramp areas.
· It is recommended that an “Airport Watch” program patterned after “Neighborhood Watch” be developed. Aircraft owners should be encouraged to report suspicious persons and activities and violations of airport policies. Aircraft pilots and owners should be further encouraged to get to know their airport neighbors.
Air Crews, Owners and Pilots
· Always lock aircraft when parked.
· Do not leave logbooks in aircraft at any time.
· Take pictures of the aircraft and have copies made if the airplane is stolen or destroyed.
· Make a list of serialized parts including installed electronics. This includes the engine, props, moving parts, avionics, ELT, etc.
· Provide the airport with a list of authorized personnel or crew members. Include an identification number, date of birth or social security number with each name. Unless a caller can identify himself or herself with that number, an aircraft should not be prepared for flight by the airport.
· Provide the airport with a 24-hour point of contact.
· Unless billing arrangements or credit has been secured, use a credit card when paying for aircraft service.
· Use high quality locks on the aircraft and possibly avionics.
· Purchase and use an anti-theft device.
· Make arrangements with the airport to have the aircraft checked daily.
If You Are A Victim
· If an aircraft owner is the victim of a theft, vandalism or other criminal offense, quickly notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and the airport operations personnel.
· When notifying a law enforcement agency of a theft or criminal offense, provide a complete and detailed description of what was stolen —— including the serial numbers of all individually identifiable parts and equipment.
If the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office can be of any assistance please contact PCSO Community Service Officer at (386) 326-7253