The U.S. Department of State frequently issues advisories and warnings about various areas considered to be “high-risk” due to situations including ongoing conflicts, concerns over theft or terrorism, or disease outbreaks. Private jet charter can be an incredibly useful asset when business or family commitments require you to travel to such areas, especially when commercial airline options are unavailable or unreliable, but it’s important to take precautions.
U.S. authorities emphasize that citizens are subject to the laws and the legal system of the country they are visiting. “In many high-risk areas, we cannot help you [and] we may have to rely on local resources to resolve matters,” the State Department notes. “This may be because of a lack of a functioning government, the ineffectiveness or policies of local authorities, armed conflict, or poor governance.”
An Important Safety Step for Charter Flights to High-Risk Areas
Travelers to such areas are encouraged to follow some sensible precautions, including signing up with the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) available to all U.S. citizens and nationals traveling or living abroad. STEP provides you with the latest security and travel information available for your planned destination and allows you to notify U.S. embassies and consulates in the region of your travel plans so they may better assist you during an emergency.
Your charter broker can assist you with this and other important steps ahead of your trip, including developing a personal security and communication plan for monitoring your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas. Travelers to such locations are also encouraged to discuss with their loved ones, plans regarding the handling of their assets, care and custody of children, and other personal matters in the event of an emergency.
Airport security is also an important consideration, particularly if you wish the aircraft to remain at your destination for the duration of your visit. It’s also critical that all vendors used for your charter flight – including ground transportation, lodging, and aircraft or personnel security services – be thoroughly vetted by a reputable entity specializing in high-risk areas.
Securing Your Stay
Aircraft charter brokers may also help arrange safe accommodations for you, your passengers, and the flight crew. Lodging should be booked at large hotel chains whenever possible, as they typically maintain their own safety protocols that exceed local standards. Travelers should also stay at facilities with interior entrance doors whenever possible as an added measure of security.
These often-overlooked considerations are a few of the reasons why it’s vital to use an experienced charter broker to plan your trip. With proper preflight planning and reasonable precautions, passengers may be assured their trip will be conducted with the least amount of risk as possible.