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Blue Lightning Initiative

The Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), led by the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is an element of the DHS Blue Campaign. The BLI trains aviation industry personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims, and to report their suspicions to federal law enforcement.  To date, more than 200,000 personnel in the aviation industry have been trained through the BLI, and actionable tips continue to be reported to law enforcement. 

Blue Lightning Initiative Training Module

The “FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016,” signed by the President on July 15, 2016, requires air carriers to provide initial and annual flight attendant training regarding recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims.  The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018,  signed by the President on October 5, 2018, expands the requirement to include “ticket counter agents, gate agents, and other air carrier workers whose jobs require regular interaction with passengers on recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims.” Becoming a BLI partner and using the virtual training is a simple and responsible way to adhere to the new requirements. 

The BLI training was developed based on feedback from aviation industry experts and human trafficking survivors, and can be previewed through the 3-minute trailer below.  The BLI training is 17 minutes in length, and is comprised of four lessons that include:

  1. What is Human Trafficking?
  2. Indicators of Human Trafficking Activity
  3. Reporting Suspected Human Trafficking
  4. Indicator Challenge

    How Does the Blue Lightning Initiative Work?

    Participating BLI partners instruct their employees using the BLI virtual training module and associated printed educational materials. The training may be integrated into partners' initial or refresher training for flight attendants, pilots, customer service representatives, and other aviation industry personnel.

    The BLI training illustrates common indicators of trafficking that aviation employees may encounter, and how to immediately report suspected trafficking to law enforcement.

    The BLI’s real-time reporting mechanism gives law enforcement the ability to research and analyze information, and to coordinate an appropriate and effective response.

    To alert authorities about suspected trafficking, as outlined in the BLI training, airline employees can follow their airline's in-flight reporting protocol or call the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line.

    How to Participate

    For airlines and aviation industry organizations wanting to learn more about using the BLI to inform their employees about human trafficking and their reporting options, contact and for more information.

    Participation is open to any U.S. airline. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security are considering whether and how to expand the BLI training to foreign-flagged airlines.

    Current Partners

    The Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security are pleased to partner with the following organizations in combating human trafficking through the Blue Lightning Initiative.  The U.S. Department of Transportation does not endorse or approve the products, services or opinions of the partners.  This list of active partners will be updated periodically.

    Air Transport International
    Alaska Seaplanes
    Allegiant Air
    Atlas Air
    Chantilly Air
    Contour Airlines
    Delta Air Lines
    Delux Public Charter (dba JSX)
    Elevate Jet, LLC
    Empire Airlines
    Frontier Airlines, Inc.
    Global Crossing Airlines
    Hillwood Airways
    IBC Airways
    Jet Aviation
    JetBlue Airways
    Kalitta Charters
    Key Lime Air
    Meridian Air Charter
    Mesa Airlines    
    NetJets Aviation
    Omni Air International
    Premier Jets, Inc.
    Redtail Air
    Republic Airways, Inc
    Silver Airways
    SkyWest Airlines
    Spirit Airlines
    Sun Country Airlines
    UPS Airlines
    Waltzing Matilda Aviation             

    Appleton International Airport
    Barkley Regional Airport
    Bishop International Airport
    Capital Region Airport Commision (Richmond International Airport)
    Clark County Department of Aviation
    Coastal Carolina Regional Airport
    Concord-Padgett Regional Airport 
    Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA)
    Dallas Fort Worth International
    Daniel K. Inouye International 
    Dayton International Airport
    Des Moines International Airport
    El Paso Airport
    Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole
    Gerald D. Ford International Airport
    Hilo International Airport 
    Houston Airport System
    Huntsville International Airport
    Juneau International Airport
    Kahului Airport
    Kenton County Airport Board/CVG Airport
    King County International Airport
    Lihue Airport
    Louisville Regional Airport Authority
    Martha's Vineyard Airport
    Miami International Airport
    Milwaukee-General Mitchell International
    Northeast Ohio Regional Airport
    Philadelphia International Airport 
    Port Authority of NYNJ
    Redding Municipal Airport 
    Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
    Rogue Valley International - Medford Airport 
    Sacramento International Airport
    San Antonio International Airport 
    Stillwater Regional Airport
    Tucson Airport Authority/International Airport

    Airborne Public Safety Associaiton (APSA)
    Airline Pilots Association (ALPA)
    Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)
    Helicopter Association International 
    National Air Carrier Association (NACA)
    National Air Transportation Association (NATA)
    Regional Airline Association

    Locked On
    Ohio State University
    University of North Dakota

    Mead & Hunt
    Prosegur Service Group
    Ross & Baruzzini                   

    What Other Actions Can Airlines and Aviation Industry Organizations Take to Help Stop Human Trafficking?

    Airlines and aviation industry organizations can post the Blue Lightning Initiative poster, indicator card or basic Blue Campaign human trafficking awareness materials inside aircrafts as well as air the Blue Campaign infographic on pre-flight videos to educate passengers to recognize and report human trafficking.

    What Can Passengers and the General Public Do?

    We all have a responsibility to be vigilant. Passengers and the general public can help by learning the basic indicators of human trafficking by taking the DHS Blue Campaign's general awareness training to recognize and report human trafficking.

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    Domestic Trafficking Hotlines

    Tip Lines


    Last updated: Friday, December 17, 2021