SPARROW Executive Jets has become the first air charter brokerage to partner with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) to end human trafficking.
Blue Lightning Initiative
As an element of the DHS Blue Campaign, BLI trains aviation personnel to identify potential traffickers and victims, and to report suspicions to federal law enforcement.
“DHS welcomes SPARROW Executive Jets to our growing community of Blue Lightning Initiative partners,” said DHS Blue Campaign Senior Advisor Michael Camal.
“This partnership will strengthen our efforts to fight human trafficking in the private aviation sector. It is vital that all general aviation employees are educated on the common warning signs and to how to appropriately report potential cases.”
As a BLI partner, SPARROW Executive Jets follows training and reporting protocols defined by DHS and DOT, and joins more than 120 other organizations, including airlines, airports, and aviation companies.
To date, BLI partners have trained over 350,000 aviation personnel, who continue to generate actionable tips for law enforcement.
“We’re honored to join the Blue Lightning Initiative in the fight against human trafficking,” said SPARROW Executive Jets Founder and President Jacquie Dalton.
“Private aviation is a critical form of transportation, and we’re committed to efforts like BLI that increase its safety and security. As a BLI partner, we now have the tools to educate our charter team and community members on how to effectively identify and report trafficking.”
The importance of charter operators
Charter brokerages are well-positioned to combat human trafficking in private aviation due to their important role in vetting all parties involved in charter transactions.
This vetting includes management companies, aircraft owners, and clients, and takes place in advance of any sale.
“We believe the first line of defense in flight operations is the sale,” Dalton said. “At SPARROW Executive Jets, we know who we fly and why they fly. It sets a higher charter standard that’s integral to the safety and security of all parties.”
As part of its introduction to the program, SPARROW Executive Jets recently participated in a DHS Combating Human Aviation Trafficking in Aviation Summit for BLI partners and aviation industry professionals.
The problem of human trafficking in air services
Human trafficking is a global problem, and the United States is not immune to it. In recent years, there have been numerous cases of human trafficking on air flights in the USA, and it has become a major concern for law enforcement agencies and airlines alike.
One of the main problems with human trafficking on air flights in the USA is that it is difficult to detect.
Traffickers often use false documents, and victims may not speak the language or may be too afraid to speak out.
Additionally, airlines and air operators are often not trained to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and they may not know what to do if they suspect that someone is being trafficked.
Traffickers may use the legitimate transportation system to move victims from one place to another, and airlines may not be aware that they are carrying victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking on air flights in the USA is a serious problem, but there are efforts underway to combat it.
By raising awareness and providing training to those who work in the transportation industry, this activity can be intercepted and protection offered those who are most vulnerable.