I have implored pilots to engage with us at the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission in keeping aircraft and airports secure. A recent TV report has shown that we are still not receiving the needed cooperation by all concerned. I have warned that the media representation can only be two dimensional. This most recent television report only affirms that view. What we saw was what the film editor or producer felt was important to the message. Please help us, and help yourself, maintain your right to fly. Security is not a job for police, guards and cameras alone. Security is an “attitude” and we as an aviation community just don’t seem to understand the implications yet. We each need to adopt a “Security Attitude” for our own airport, and especially our own aircraft. Help us by completing the following checklist tasks at your airport:
1. My aircraft cabin is locked. The prop or throttle is secure and other measures are taken to disable the aircraft, as needed.
2. I am wearing my state airport ID badge, and I am asking others to wear and/or show me theirs.
3. I wait for the gate to close before pulling away after entering or exiting the airport.
4. I am aware of any unusual activity and I report any suspicions to the airport manager.
5. I refer any outside or unusual inquiries or questions to the airport manager.
6. I participate in all security measures at my airport and act as the manager’s “eyes and ears” in security matters.
When we check off these simple security items on each visit to our airports, we will ensure our goal of keeping our aircraft safe and secure. We will prevent possible damage to our aircraft and aviation facilities. We will also ensure our right to fly when we want to and where we want to for now. If we do not get this message to our fellow pilots now, we may face a very different set of rules from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I am sure we will not like these possible new rules. This is not important “stuff” unless you like to fly. If you don’t care about flying and maintaining your freedoms, just forget the checklist and let the bad guys chock up another quiet victory.
Arthur G. Allen