Free security training available

Free, on-site security training – funded by the Department of Homeland Security – is now available for GA airports.

The free, on-site training delivers cost-effective security solutions to even the smallest general aviation operation, according to Brian Dorow, an associate dean in the Department of Criminal Justice and the Center for Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism Initiatives at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) in Pewaukee, Wis., which developed the training with the aid of a $750,000 grant from DHS.

“During the 9-11 terrorist attacks, there was a connection to smaller airports,” Dorow said. “Terrorists received flight training at small airports that went undetected.”

With the threat of terrorist attacks, Dorow maintains, airports in all categories are urged to enhance security measures. “The problem is that, historically, it hasn’t been cost-effective to improve security within the broad spectrum of general aviation,” he said.

The new General Aviation Security Training addresses these challenges – making it simpler and less costly for airports to train their staff members, he said. As part of the training, general aviation airports develop cost-effective security plans involving local police and fire departments, according to Dorow.

The goal is two-pronged: To prevent criminal use of general aviation aircraft and facilities, and to prepare first responders to react safely and effectively to incidents.

General aviation is very diverse and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work, said Dorow, pointing out the new security training blends several important points, including an airport’s current aviation security efforts, the diversity of general aviation, and the limited resources of general aviation and its airports.

The training is designed to train pilots, FBO operators, mechanics, airport operators and airport businesses, as well as local emergency responders, such as police and fire departments.

The training enhances learning by requiring those at the airport to apply knowledge and skills to different scenarios, according to Dorow. In the end, they apply skills and come away with a security plan. Similarly, emergency responders exit the training with an airport familiarization plan. Upon completion, police and fire departments can train others in their local departments, familiarizing them with airport layout, security processes and response plans.

“The training promotes a community approach to securing general aviation airports,” he said. “We want to work with the community to make the area secure. It’s participant-centered and participants exit the course with a useful security blueprint and plan for immediate application at their airport.”

To more information – or to schedule training at your airport – call 262-691-5374 or go to WCTC.edu/aviation.

Airports already planning to receive training in 2009:
Fort Meyers, Fla.
Naples, Fla.
Kent, Ohio
Torrance County, Calif.
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Greenville, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Gulfport, Miss.
Memphis, Tenn.
Lawrenceville, Ga.

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