The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has urged aircraft and airport owners and operators to be very vigilant in the wake of an apparent terrorist threat to business aircraft.
The security alert was in response to an April 13 Web-forum posting encouraging Muslims to “destroy all types of private American aircraft.” The terror message, posted in Arabic, gave guidance on how to identify U.S. aircraft. It even gave the tail number of a private aircraft allegedly used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The TSA said the industry should review the security measures contained in the Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) Airport Watch program. In addition, it said owners and operators should consider securing unattended aircraft to prevent unauthorized use and verifying the identification of pilots and passengers before departure.
The advisory stated that companies should encourage employees to challenge people not wearing proper identification and be alert to people masquerading as pilots or other kinds of personnel to gain access to aircraft. They should also look out for aircraft with unusual or unauthorized modifications, as well as people who appear to be under stress or under the control of others.
The theft of an aircraft and any suspicious activity should be immediately reported to the TSA general aviation hotline at 1-866-427-3287.