5 (More) Tips for Mitigating Risk when Operating to Volatile Areas – Part 2 of 2
This business aviation blog post is the second part of a series on mitigating risk when operating to volatile areas and continues from our previous post.
Advance preparation is the key consideration when operating to volatile areas. In Part 1 of this series, we covered issues facing business jet operators when planning trips to volatile areas and proactive measures you can take to mitigate risks associated with these types of trips. Below are five more tips that we recommend you consider when operating to volatile areas:
1. Follow best practice for managing crew passports
It’s best practice that crew members have a second passport to send off for last-minute visas. Your 3rd-party provider should have a scanned copy of your passport on file, as this may help you arrange services in an emergency situation and in the event your passport is stolen. If a passport is lost or stolen, always file a police report as this is useful evidence to show authorities.
2. Take extra measures when you have firearms onboard your aircraft
If you have firearms onboard, keep a record of make, model, serial number, ownership, and ammunition specifications. In cases with firearms, it’s best to provide the information to your 3rd-party provider in order to inform the ground handler and local authorities at each destination, as in many cases airport authorities require prior notice. At some locations, you’ll be permitted to keep guns locked onboard, while at other airports, you’ll need to leave guns with airport police. Remember that, by regulation, firearms must always be declared when leaving the U.S. to avoid issues when re-entering.
3. Consider having visas ready for neighboring countries
In certain cases, it’s recommended for crew to have visas for neighboring countries in the event plan “B” becomes necessary. Having permits available and ready for neighboring countries gives you additional options. However, if you need to divert due to weather or mechanical or safety reasons, authorities are normally accommodating.
4. Obtain a security briefing pre-trip. Then determine your level of security needs
If security is needed, there is a wide range of good security providers available throughout the world. When traveling to an area of heightened risk, particularly if you’re not familiar with the area and do not have your own security people on location, it’s advisable to obtain security briefs on both the local area and hotels. For lower risk areas, your local ground handler will be a valuable source of information on issues such as local strikes or areas where it is not advisable to walk at night. At more risky locales, however, you’ll want more in-depth security briefings. Cost of security briefings is miniscule compared to risks to passenger and crew safety and costs of quickly exiting a bad situation.
5. Prepare for unplanned maintenance
In some more volatile areas, especially remote regions, it’s advisable to have an aviation maintenance technician onboard with a well-stocked fly away spares kit. If maintenance or inspection procedures are scheduled for the near future, consider having this completed before your trip. Also, contact your OEMs during pre-trip planning to determine the closest maintenance and spare parts facilities in case of an aircraft on the ground situation.
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