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Airport Secure? Get the Word Out !


How do you use information? Do you make decisions based on what you see, hear or read? Most people make decisions based upon information they find most credible. Maybe you’ve taken the initiative and developed a good security plan, reasonable security procedures, and correctly installed the right equipment to meet your airport’s security needs. You’re reasonably ready to catch a thief or stop a terrorist. But have you deterred them?

“Deterrence is the public information side of a security program. Criminals are less inclined to target an airport if they think they’ll be compromised or caught,” confides Dave Hook, President of Planehook Aviation Services, LLC. He states further, “Airport managers and law enforcement authorities can’t deter criminals and terrorists if there isn’t a clear, consistent message that says, ‘Come here, and you’ll be caught.’”

So how does a small general aviation airport—without the federal funding given to the commercial service airports—accomplish this task on a shoestring budget? Planehook’s chief executive offers some of their solutions. “First, divide your efforts into two areas: ‘close’ to the airport and ‘far’ from the airport. Solutions that can be made ‘close’ to the airport include installing signs that indicate the airport participates in a community security program, like Airport Watch for example. These signs can catch the attention of the criminal or terrorist when they stakeout a potential target airport.

“Next, consider how best to carry the security message of your airport to the surrounding region. This is the ‘far’ from the airport side of the deterrence program. There is a variety of public media available to spread the word. And regardless whether you use newsprint, radio, internet or television, be careful not to overstate your security capabilities. In any case you don’t want the bad guys to know exactly how you can catch them; they’ll plan a way around it. You just want them to know that you’re ready for them.” These are among some of the anticrime and antiterrorism weapons in the Planehook arsenal to support a secure General Aviation community.

Dedicated to the needs of general aviation, Planehook Aviation Services, LLC began providing its unique version of security in December 2004. The company motto, “Securing aviation one airport at a time,” underscores their approach. The company websites, and, provide further information on Planehook’s refreshingly low-tech, low-cost approach to what is normally an expensive industry.


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