Executive Security in Business Aviation: Part 3 – Weapons Considerations

PT 3 M minute read

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “Executive Security in Business Aviation: Part 2 – Security Specifics.

Unfortunately, it’s not practical to hire executive protection type-licensed to carry and use weapons at all worldwide locations. In order to conform to various country and local requirements you’ll usually need to hire local armed executive protection personnel, for each international destination.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Armed protection limitations

Even though you might request armed protection, this may or may not be possible, depending on the location you’re visiting. Most countries require executive protection agents to have appropriate local licenses, particularly when carrying weapons. Some airports even mandate that these agents be former military personnel, particularly if they’re providing airside protection. Full time armed protection means that you will, in most cases, need to hire licensed local security personnel at each destination. This involves meeting up with local executive protection agents at each destination or, alternatively, flying executive protection personnel, with appropriate licenses, onboard during multi-stops within a region.

2. Weapon considerations

While armed protection is not a primary request for international executive protection, this will depend upon your particular requirements and level of comfort. If you’re flying internationally with armed executive protection onboard there are many variables that must be researched in advance. When guns and ammunition are carried onboard, permits are needed, and the person in control of the weapons must be appropriately licensed for each destination. At least two weeks advance notice is suggested to make arrangements for armed executive protection personnel onboard your aircraft. Short notice requests may, at times, be possible. Note that armed protection options, in general, involve increased costs and additional permit and lead time requirements. Arriving at a destination without needed approvals for such weapons can lead to fines, confiscation of weapon, or even imprisonment.

3. Know local regulations

Security related regulations, and restrictions, exist at each destination. Every country has different government entities that control such regulations, and in some cases, regulations can change at a moment’s notice. It’s always best to work with a reputable security provider who can reach out to local government counterparts to obtain all applicable regulations and/or security-related restrictions, at particular destinations.

4. Plan well in advance

During large event periods it may be more challenging to obtain certain security services, so it’s best to plan security arrangements well in advance. During the recent World Cup event in Brazil demand was so high for executive protection services that personnel had to be brought in from other locations. Keep in mind that if you routinely travel with company security they will not, in almost every case, be able to travel internationally with weapons. If armed protection is required you’ll need to set this up for each destination. Note that ‘weapons’ do not include just guns and ammunition but also, typically, cover Tasers (stun guns), pepper and mace sprays and certain knives. While some flight departments provide crews with defensive security training, be mindful that permitted “weapons” may be limited.

5. Additional Reading: Executive Security

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


Carrying undeclared guns, ammunition or weapons onboard can result in serious penalties – including fines, detention and possible delays. It’s important to ensure that your executive protection providers, and their weapons, have proper permits and licenses for each planned destination.

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