Print Version | Newsletter Home | NAAA Home
National Agricultural Aviation Association eNewsletter
Voice of the Aerial Application Industry
August 16, 2018
Seattle Aircraft Theft is Urgent Reminder to Secure Your Aircraft and Facilities

There are several steps pilots and operators can take to ensure all aircraft and facilities are secure. NAAA strongly urges operators to install a hidden ignition switch.

No one ever thinks it’s going to happen to them. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has employee screening procedures that goes above and beyond the minimum legal baseline requirements. And yet, the recent theft and subsequent fatal crash of a Horizon Air Q400 by a suicidal employee is an urgent reminder that bizarre and unthinkable events can happen to anyone in the aviation industry.


Had this occurred with an ag aircraft, the industry would be faced with a public relations disaster, likely an indefinite shut down, similar to post 9-11 ground stops, at a time when our businesses and our customers need us most.


There are several steps pilots and operators can take to ensure all aircraft and facilities are secure. NAAA strongly urges operators to install a hidden ignition switch. This switch can remain unknown to all but the most essential personnel. After 9/11, NAAA was able to work with the FAA to allow hidden ignition switches installed in ag planes without having to undergo the cumbersome FAA Form 337 process.


More security tips, which can be found in the NAAA Professional Operating Guidelines, are listed below:

  • Consider the use of propeller locks or locked aircraft tie downs.
  • Park or disable heavy equipment in front and behind the aircraft to prevent it from being moved.
  • When aircraft are not being used for a long period of time, remove the batteries or other components that would prevent the engine from operating.
  • Consider video and other effective security systems with ample lighting to maintain adequate visibility for monitoring aircraft, storage facilities or aircraft hangars.
  • Be aware of individuals who have no reason to be at or near your location, or who seem to be inexplicably monitoring your operation.
  • Establish relationships and ongoing contacts with local law enforcement, neighbors, other airport users and other area aerial application operators, thus providing an informal overlapping security awareness network.
  • Report suspicious activity to the General Aviation Security Hotline at (866) 427-3287, also known as [866 GA Secure].

Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officially withdrew a proposed rule that would have imposed new, onerous and largely unworkable security regulations on general aviation aircraft weighing over 12,500 pounds. Known as the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), the proposal was introduced in October 2008. Certain airports serving these operators would have been required to adopt a security program, potentially causing inflexibility for ag operators at these airports as well.


It is entirely possible a general aviation incident could revive interest in this unwieldly rule. As a result of the Seattle theft, House Homeland Security transportation subpanel Chairman John Katko (R-N.Y.) is pushing for a bill that would increase employee screening for gaining access to secure areas in commercial airports, despite many in the industry saying the Katko bill would not have changed the outcome of what happened this weekend
Next Article >>
Share this article:  LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
Add a CommentAdd a Comment
View CommentsView Comments ()
This newsletter is intended for NAAA members only. NAAA requests that should any party desire to publish, distribute or quote any part of this newsletter that they first seek the permission of the Association. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership. Items in this newsletter are not the result of paid advertising and are only meant to highlight newsworthy developments. No endorsement by NAAA is intended or implied.
Seattle Aircraft Theft is Urgent Reminder to Secure Your Aircraft and Facilities
Senator Boozman (R-AR) Takes First Ride in Ag Aircraft Thanks to Arkansas Ag Pilots, Receives Briefing on Top Ag Issues as Farm Bill Conference is Debated
Monsanto Vows Appeal After Jury Finds Glyphosate Responsible for Cancer Diagnosis
Eastern Idaho Ag Operation Wins Big By Entering an Ag Aviation Themed Float in Local Parade
Court Orders EPA to Revoke all Chlorpyrifos Tolerances and Registrations; EPA Reviewing Next Steps
2018 Ag Aviation Expo Pre & Post-Convention Destination Options
NAAA Calls on Members to Show Grassroots Support for Regulatory Relief in 2018 Farm Bill
NAAA Unveils an Updated Members-Only Resource: Check Out Fresh, New Look of ‘Aerial Application 101’ Presentation and Learn Why it Pays to Renew Your Membership
Four $5,000 ‘Ag Wings of Tomorrow’ Scholarships Up for Grabs! Deadline Aug. 31!
Submit Your Aerial Application Photos and Videos to Mark the Industry’s 100th Anniversary!
NAAA and NAAREF Board Meetings Oct. 5-6


Ag Aviation Expo Hotel Info 
NAAA Awards Information
NPDES PGP Compliance Tools
NAAA/NAAREF Safety Videos
Agricultural Aviation Mag.
NAAA "Ag Wings of Tomorrow" Scholarship Application 
Tower Outreach Tools
Tower Marking Warning Letters
NAAA UAV Safety Stuffers
NAAA Media Relations Kit
Ag Aviation 101 Presentation
NAAA Professional Operating Guidelines Booklet
Aerial Applicators Manual
Shooting-Response Checklist
NAAA UAV Encounter Checklist
Contact Us
Search Back Issues
National Agricultural Aviation Association, 1440 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 202-546-5722 | Fax: 202-546-5726 |

To ensure delivery of NAAA eNewsletter, please add ''
and '' to your email address book.

If you are still having problems receiving our emails, see our whitelisting page for more details.
National Agricultural Aviation Association