Capt. ELhadi Y. Nour
Over the past 40 years, safety in the general aviation arena has greatly improved. The reasons are many and include improved aircraft reliability, pilot training enhancements, and better weather reporting capabilities. One often overlooked contributor to this safety record is the contribution made on the ground by general aviation airport operators, as well as those fixed base operators (FBOs) who service general aviation aircraft. In addition, often included as an aspect of aviation safety but different in both its planning and response, is airport security. Since 2001, airport security has been the primary concern within the airport community. The objective of this synthesis report is to identify current practices in safety management and security operations at general aviation airports and FBOs. Through the use of a survey of individual airports and FBOs, this report identified current practices and highlights unique, low cost ideas that may be in use at one airport, but transferable to others. From a total of 60 surveys distributed, 53 responses were received for a response rate of 88%. Additional information for this synthesis report was collected during a literature search, and from documents made available by selected airports, FBOs, and industry trade associations. Also, the survey identified resources used to develop safety and security materials at general aviation airports. Airport security is also not limited to airports. FBOs, corporate business aircraft users, and other tenants are realizing the importance of securing the entire general aviation system. Airports are also expanding the universe of organizations available to help them secure the airport, and frequently enter into agreements with the local emergency response community, federal and state law enforcement agencies, or other entities that can participate in...