The Culture of Safety which the FAA and TSA wish to instill in the GA community goes beyond simple (but thorough) record-keeping. Students, pilots, flight school personnel, and airport employees are encouraged to have a “ground up” approach toward vigilance; the best practice is to remain aware, informed and observant of activities in and around the airport environment, and address immediately anything that could be deemed suspicious.
As part of the Federal Government’s efforts to improve general aviation security, initial and recurrent (once annually) security awareness training is mandated by Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 1552.23. Specifically, the regulation states:
(a) General. A flight school must ensure that—
(1) Each of its flight school employees receives initial and recurrent security awareness training in accordance with this subpart; and
(2) If an instructor is conducting the initial security awareness training program, the instructor has first successfully completed the initial flight school security awareness training program offered by TSA or an alternative flight school security awareness training program that meets the criteria of paragraph (c) of this section.
(d) Recurrent security awareness training program.
(1) A flight school must ensure that each flight school employee receives recurrent security awareness training each year in the same month as the month the flight school employee received initial security awareness training in accordance with this subpart.
(2) At a minimum, a recurrent security awareness training program must contain information regarding—
(i) Any new security measures or procedures implemented by the flight school;
(ii) Any security incidents at the flight school, and any lessons learned as a result of such incidents;
(iii) Any new threats posed by or incidents involving general aviation aircraft contained on the TSA Web site; and
(iv) Any new TSA guidelines or recommendations concerning the security of general aviation aircraft, airports, or flight schools.
In addition to administering the Security Awareness Training, the flight school (or independent CFI) is required to maintain records of the training provided to their employees. Here’s what the regulation (Title 49 CFR Part 1552.25) specifically states:
(a) Documentation. A flight school must issue a document to each flight school employee each time the flight school employee receives initial or recurrent security awareness training in accordance with this subpart. The document must—
(1) Contain the flight school employee’s name and a distinct identification number.
(2) Indicate the date on which the flight school employee received the security awareness training.
(3) Contain the name of the instructor who conducted the training, if any.
(4) Contain a statement certifying that the flight school employee received the security awareness training.
(5) Indicate the type of training received, initial or recurrent.
(6) Contain a statement certifying that the alternative training program used by the flight school meets the criteria in 49 CFR 1552.23(c), if the flight school uses an alternative training program to comply with this subpart.
(7) Be signed by the flight school employee and an authorized official of the flight school.
(b) Record-keeping requirements. A flight school must establish and maintain the following records for one year after an individual no longer is a flight school employee:
(1) A copy of the documentation required by paragraph (a) of this section for the initial and each recurrent security awareness training conducted for each flight school employee in accordance with this subpart; and
(2) The alternative flight school security awareness training program used by the flight school, if the flight school uses such a program.
(c) Inspection. A flight school must permit TSA and the Federal Aviation Administration to inspect the records required under paragraph (b) of this section during reasonable business hours.