This article was originally developed on behalf of Air Security International
as a paper for the Air Routing International newsletter - Airmail.
The author - Robert Seaman is the President of AvAd Inc. and past Chapter Chair
for the CBAA. His expertise in this area is based upon involvement in the specialized
marketing and communications service that have been developed over a 15 year
period exclusively for the business aviation community.
Air Travel Security and Awareness Preparation . . .
Business aviation travel is a breeze compared to commercial carriers. It has
been developed and designed with comfort, convenience and time factors as the
major considerations. Even though traveling through corporate aviation is a
much more relaxed and purpose driven, you should still exercise some basic personal
and corporate security awareness measures at all times.
When planning a trip, your focus is usually on the weather, your luggage, the
drive to the airport, finding a parking place, getting to the aircraft and of
course, flight preparations and aircraft issues.
During the flight, you tend to be preoccupied with cockpit issues, passenger
needs and just simply getting to your destination. Once your aircraft has landed,
you will start thinking about the FBO, ramp ground service preparation and getting
off the plane as fast as you can. You thoughts naturally wander to going through
customs, getting your passengers taken care of and off to their meetings, their
luggage and yours, getting the aircraft squared for the layover and getting
to your hotel. IS THIS YOU?
Before you left home, did you do any of the following to insure that your trip
will be safe and secure?
Prior to Departure
- Ensure your home is protected while you are away - set the alarm, notify
neighbours or the police of your absence and remember to make arrangements
for mail and newspaper delivery if your property is to be left unattended.
- Research and understand the local laws - ignorance is not an excuse in many
- Protect your itinerary and hotel information, but ensure your family or
a trusted colleague at work has it.
- Rent a GSM cellular phone for the trip. They will allow access into the
local cellular system plus give you a standard number for others to reach
- Carry small bills in the local currency for tipping.
- Take a small flashlight with fresh batteries
General Travel Tips
- Arrive at the airport early to avoid being rushed. In most European airports,
you will still be required to proceed through a security scan and check. Do
so quickly and move along to the gate area as they are the safest part of
- Stay with your luggage. Even if you've been through the FBO a dozen times,
do not leave your bags unattended or on top of a luggage cart. Thieves know
that the most valuable bag is on top and bags left alone are an invitation
to such minded people. Just because you are in and FBO, does not mean that
those with less than honourable intentions are not present.
- Do not openly display your name on luggage, and do not put your address
on luggage tags, only your office phone number.
- Do not display company logos on your luggage or briefcase.
- If traveling in high threat areas, be cautions of sharing information regarding
your employment in open conversation.
- Familiarize yourself with emergency exit locations at the hotels, at the
airport - as you would if you were traveling on commercial aircarrier.
- While away from home, only drink alcohol in moderation (if at all) - it
can significantly increase "jet lag" and dull your overall safety awareness.
- Keep business confidential/proprietary documents out of view.
- Wear loose fitting and natural fiber clothes in case of fire.
- Always try to use pre-arranged transportation. Your hotel can often arrange
it for you. Only choose marked transportation - never use gypsy cabs.
- Know if public transportation (including taxis) are safe to use.
- Lock doors and keep windows rolled up.
On the Ground
- Know your surroundings at all times - if does not look familiar or relate
to a map, turn around and go back. Avoid alleys and unlit areas
- Set your watch to the local time and do not allow your patterns to be predictable.
- Divide your money among several pockets. Carry your purse close to the body.
Never set your purse down - unless you attach it to your person. Men should
carry their wallets in their front pockets.
- Do not be flashy with jewelry, cameras, and clothing.
- In some countries, you can't photograph police facilities, government buildings,
and transportation facilities - so ask first.
- While shopping do not carry a large number of packages, and do not purchase
"black market" goods. Always secure your packages.
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