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Blue Lightning Initiative

The Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), led by the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is an element of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign. BLI trains aviation industry personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims, and to report their suspicions to federal law enforcement.  To date, over 110 aviation industry partners have trained more than 200,000 employees through 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, 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 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 these requirements. 

The BLI training was developed based on feedback from aviation industry experts and human trafficking survivors.  The training is 25 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, airports, and aviation industry organizations wanting to learn more about using the BLI to inform their employees about human trafficking and their reporting options, contact bluecampaign@hq.dhs.gov and trafficking@dot.gov for more information.

Participation is open to any U.S. aviation industry organization, and to international air carriers serving the United States.

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.

AIRLINES
Air Transport International
Alaska Seaplanes
Allegiant Air
Atlas Air
Breeze Airways
Chantilly Air
CommutAir
Contour Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Delux Public Charter (dba JSX)
Elevate Jet
Endeavor Air
Frontier Airlines
Global Crossing Airlines
Hillwood Airways
Hyannis Air Service (dba Cape Air )
IBC Airways
Jet Aviation
JetBlue Airways
Kalitta Charters
Key Lime Air
Mesa Airlines   
NetJets Aviation
Omni Air International
Premier Jets
Redtail Air
Republic Airways
Silver Airways
SkyWest Airlines
Spirit Airlines
Sun Country Airlines
UPS Airlines
Waltzing Matilda Aviation     

AIRPORTS             
Appleton International Airport
Barkley Regional Airport
Bishop International Airport
Capital Region Airport Commission (Richmond International Airport)
Clark County Department of Aviation
Coastal Carolina Regional Airport
Colorado Springs Airport
Columbia Metropolitan Airport
Concord-Padgett Regional Airport 
Corpus Christi International Airport
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
Fairbanks International Airport
Fairfield County Airport
False River Regional Airport
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
Manchester Boston Regional Airport
Martha's Vineyard Airport
Miami International Airport
Milwaukee-General Mitchell International
Naples Airport Authority
Northeast Ohio Regional Airport
Oklahoma City Airport Trust
Paine Field Airport
Philadelphia International Airport 
Phoenix Aviation Department
Port Authority of NYNJ
Punta Gorda Airport
Redding Municipal Airport 
Rhode Island Airport Corporation
Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
Rogue Valley International - Medford Airport 
Sacramento International Airport
San Antonio International Airport 
Stillwater Regional Airport
Toledo Express Airport
Tucson Airport Authority/International Airport
Yuma County Airport Authority/Yuma International Airport

ASSOCIATIONS
Air Medical Operators Association (AMOA)
Air Transport Association of America (dba Airlines for America) (A4A)
Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA)
Airline Pilots Association (ALPA)
American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)
Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)
Helicopter Association International (HAI)
Latino Pilots Association (LPA)
National Air Carrier Association (NACA)
National Air Transportation Association (NATA)
Regional Airline Association (RAA)

TRAINING INSTITUTES
Cypress College
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Locked On
Ohio State University
SkyAngels
University of North Dakota

COMPANIES
Aero Industries
Clear Me
Downey Aviation Services
Expedia
Hallmark Aviation Services
Mead & Hunt
Prosegur Service Group 
Richmond Jet Center
Ross & Baruzzini
Safety & Security Instruction
Travelers Aid International
Travelers Aid of Inland Empire, Ontario Intl. Airport
           

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

Airlines, airports, 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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Last updated: Monday, January 30, 2023