Ground Transportation Planning for Business Aviation – Part 2: Secure Transport
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled: “Ground Transportation Planning for Business Aviation – Part 1: Options to Consider.”
In higher threat locales pre-paid private ground transport is suggested, and security trained drivers should be considered. Best practice is to work with your in-house security department or outside security provider to ensure adequate levels of security and protection are obtained.
The following is an overview of what you need to know about arranging secure local ground transportation at your destination:
1. Secure transport
Secure transport options range from car with security trained driver to armored vehicles and armed personnel. Costs are typically higher for these types of services, and availability may be limited for short-notice bookings or when large events are taking place in the area. Some of the advantages of these types of options include high standardization and quality of service, increased levels of security for crew and passengers, and complete details provided on vehicles and drivers in advance. If you don’t specify a particular vehicle type, a low profile vehicle will usually be provided in order to blend in better with the local environment and to avoid standing out.
2. General security considerations
We recommend obtaining current security briefs for airports, city areas, and hotels when traveling to higher security threat locations, even if you’re familiar with them. This will allow your flight department to better determine what sort of local transport may be most appropriate at that point in time. Also, consider where your transport will pick you up. At some airports it may be possible to negotiate planeside pickup, but this requires (when/if the option is available) additional lead time and approvals. When using pre-paid transport always ensure you have the driver’s name, mobile number, and description of the vehicle – ideally the license plate will be provided. On secured transport movements, it is always a good idea to request a photograph of the driver.
For more information on security planning, please see our blog.
3. Specific security considerations
In higher threat areas, particularly level 4 and above, you may want to consider security professionals, in addition to a security trained driver. We recommend setting this up as two separate functions, and not have a security trained driver also act as a bodyguard. Your driver should be focused on driving. It’s also recommended that crew remove uniforms when leaving the airport and not have expensive jewelry, watches, and digital devices on display. When using local transport, particularly pubic taxis, avoid giving out any more information than necessary on who you are, your line of work, or even the name of your company. A good option is to have a few set talking points already in mind to discuss when traveling. Local sports teams and attractions, such as museums, are items you can use to pivot the conversation when asked about personal details pertaining to your travel.
4. Routing options
We recommend determining, in advance, what may be the best and most secure routes available between the airport, hotel, and the various local venues you plan to attend. Sometimes a longer route may be the safer option. For example, using the A1 tunnel in Paris is a more direct and shorter route between Le Bourget (LFPB) and the city center, but there are increased security risks. Incidences of “smash and grab” attacks in the A1 tunnel, where another vehicle smashes into your vehicle and you’re robbed or hurt, have increased 60% over recent years. In this instance, the D-317 might be a safer option when traveling from LFPB.
5. Credit arrangements
When booking local transport always check with your 3rd-party provider or ground handler on credit arrangements and what currencies and cards will be acceptable for payment. Credit terms to consider also include when you’ll be invoiced – within 10 days of using the service is the norm – and if your handler will be paying these charges on your behalf.
6. Remote locations
Local transport options can be scarcer at smaller and more remote airport locations. Not only will costs be higher, but you’ll need to provide additional lead time to have transport providers vetted. Security briefs should be ordered for destinations, hotels, and available driving routes between airport and hotel. Be mindful that cheaper local transport options may not be the most secure or reliable choices.
Obtaining security briefs prior to travel is often overlooked, but can be an important consideration when operating to new destinations or locations you’re unfamiliar with. When using either pre-paid or secure transport always confirm vehicle details in advance. Also, be specific for any transportation needs, as this allows your 3rd-party provider to offer the best solutions for your operation.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance arranging your ground transportation needs, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.