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Blue Lightning Initiative

The Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI), led by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is an element of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) 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 140 aviation industry partners have trained more than 350,000 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.” Partnering with DOT and DHS to become a BLI partner and use the virtual training is a simple and responsible way to adhere to these requirements. 

The DOT/DHS 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 BLI to inform their employees about human trafficking and their reporting options, contact trafficking@dot.gov and bluecampaign@hsi.dhs.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
  • Avelo Airlines
  • Berry Aviation
  • Breeze Airways
  • Chantilly Air
  • CommutAir
  • Contour Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Delux Public Charter (dba JSX)
  • Elevate Jet
  • Endeavor Air
  • FedEx Express
  • Frontier Airlines
  • Global Crossing Airlines
  • Grant Aviation
  • Hillwood Airways
  • Hyannis Air Service (dba Cape Air)
  • IBC Airways
  • Jet Aviation
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Kalitta Charters
  • Key Lime Air
  • Mesa Airlines   
  • NetJets Aviation
  • Norse Atlantic Airways
  • Omni Air International
  • Premier Jets
  • Redtail Air
  • Republic Airways
  • Silver Airways
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • UPS Airlines
  • Waltzing Matilda Aviation     

AIRPORTS             

  • Albert J. Ellis Airport
  • Allegheny County Airport Authority
  • 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
  • Dayton International Airport
  • Daytona Beach International Airport
  • Des Moines International Airport
  • El Paso Airport
  • Elko Regional Airport
  • Fairbanks International Airport
  • Fairfield County Airport
  • False River Regional Airport
  • Gerald R. Ford International Airport 
  • Houston Airport System
  • Huntsville International Airport
  • Juneau International Airport
  • Kenton County Airport Board/CVG Airport
  • King County International Airport
  • Lee County Port Authority
  • Manchester Boston Regional Airport
  • Martha's Vineyard Airport
  • Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
  • Miami International Airport
  • Milwaukee-General Mitchell International
  • Naples Airport Authority
  • Norfolk Airport
  • Northeast Ohio Regional Airport
  • Oklahoma City Airport Trust
  • Paine Field Airport
  • Philadelphia International Airport 
  • Phoenix Aviation Department
  • Port Authority of NYNJ
  • Port of Seattle Airport
  • Portland International Airport
  • Portsmouth International Airport
  • Punta Gorda Airport
  • Rapid City Regional Airport
  • Redding Municipal Airport 
  • Rhode Island Airport Corporation
  • Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
  • Rogue Valley International - Medford Airport 
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) / Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
  • Sacramento International Airport
  • Salt Lake City Airport
  • San Antonio International Airport 
  • Santa Maria Airport
  • South Bend International Airport
  • Stillwater Regional Airport
  • Syracuse Regional Airport Authority
  • Toledo Express Airport
  • Tucson Airport Authority/International Airport
  • Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust
  • 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)
  • Sindicato Nacional Dos Aeronautas (SNA) - Brazilian Flight Crew Union

TRAINING INSTITUTES

  • Cypress College
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Inter-American University of Puerto Rico
  • Liberty University, Inc. 
  • Locked On
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University School of Aviation and Transportation
  • SkyAngels
  • University of North Dakota

COMPANIES

  • Aero Industries
  • Clear Me
  • Downey Aviation Services
  • Expedia
  • Freedom Aviation Network
  • Global Elite Group
  • Hallmark Aviation Services
  • Mead & Hunt
  • Modern Aviation
  • ProJet Aviation
  • Prosegur Service Group 
  • Richmond Jet Center
  • Ross & Baruzzini
  • Safety & Security Instruction
  • Sheltair Aviation Services
  • Signature Aviation
  • Sonoma Aviation
  • Sparrow Executive Jets
  • Travelers Aid International
  • Travelers Aid of Inland Empire, Ontario Intl. Airport
  • Virtower

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

Airlines, airports, and aviation industry organizations can post the DOT/DHS Blue Lightning Initiative poster and the forthcoming aviation-related DOT Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking posters in aircrafts and airports 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 DOT's Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking Combating Human Trafficking in the Transportation Sector Awareness Training to recognize and report human trafficking.

REPORT A TIP

Emergency 911
National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888 
Text INFO or HELP to
BeFree (233733)
Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line 866-DHS-2-ICE
(866-347-2423)

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