Along with maintenance and inspections, maintaining proper security procedures needs to be a top priority for pilots and operators. While airport security has significantly improved in the last several decades in the face of global terrorism, smaller airports can still be lacking in some regards. At some smaller regional and international airports, people can simply walk onto the premises and start accessing aircraft.
Therefore, it is critical to work with a fixed-base operator (FBO) that you trust. FBOs offer various security measures, and should be utilized. Most FBOs are happy to hold your keys to your aircraft for you, and act as gatekeepers, screening people that request them. For the sake of organization, you should keep keys on a keychain that is clearly labeled with your aircraft’s tail number and your contact information in case questions arise.Once the keys are secure, always let your FBO know if you expect someone to come and service the aircraft. When hiring a maintenance technician, ask for their name and badge number, so that you can notify the FBO ahead of time.
Lastly, using a seal system is a charter and international favorite, as well as a very inexpensive security system for aircraft. Custom-designed numerically stamped stickers are meant to leave behind a “void” label when tampered with, making it easy to tell when someone has gained access to an aircraft. These stickers can serve as a deterrent, and are more effective if you maintain a log of numbers and match them each time the aircraft is accessed. By providing a seal to your maintenance technician, you can have them lock and seal the aircraft when their job is finished. The next time you visit your aircraft, you can check and see if anyone has accessed the aircraft in the time since. If operating at international or unsecured airfields, you can place stickers and seals on every access panel on the exterior of the aircraft, so that during the walkaround inspection, you can identify any tampering by checking the seal.