Signature Initiates Measures To Defeat Human Trafficking


Global FBO network Signature Flight Support announced today it is working to combat human trafficking. Saying Signature’s position in the industry provides a “unique opportunity to help combat human trafficking,” company CEO Tony Lefebvre said, “The International Organization for Migration has stated that nearly 80% of international human trafficking journeys cross through official border control points, including airports. That makes this an incredibly important and relevant issue for us, and one where we have the ability to make a tangible difference.” Part of that effort involves ensuring Signature’s worldwide staff is trained to identify and report suspicious activity.

The initiative involves five phases, each in cooperation with a separate entity dedicated to eliminating human trafficking. The programs include: The DOT’s (U.S. Department of Transportation) “Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT)” initiative; the joint DOT and Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Lightning Initiative; and the American Association of Airport Executives’ supplemental training curriculum for general- and business-aviation workers. In addition, Signature is the first sponsor of the nonprofit Freedom Aviation Network, dedicated to providing transportation to survivors of human trafficking; and became a corporate sponsor of the nonprofit Covenant House, which is dedicated to supporting short- and long-term support for homeless young people and those facing the consequences of human trafficking.

Michael Camal, Senior Engagement Manager of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking, said, “Private aviation operators are on the frontlines of the fight to end human trafficking. We are grateful that Signature is leveraging its vast resources and global workforce to combat this heinous crime.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. “Private aviation operators are on the frontlines of the fight to end human trafficking”

    I guess when the chief executive, the Border patrol, INS, FBI, DoJ, Homeland security and all levels of Federal law enforcement fails…… it’s left to private aircraft operators to be on the front lines. That’s a sad state to be in.

    • There can be multiple parties on the front lines.
      When I worked ramp for an airline years ago we all got training on spotting and reporting suspicious characters/activity. The alternative is hiring more guards to be everywhere all the time. Is that what you want?

      • Rando, tell me, what exactly would one be looking for in this situation? Children in hand cuffs? Men with guns leading passengers off/on the aircraft?

        • I’m sure I could, but suffice to say that “Part of that effort involves ensuring Signature’s worldwide staff is trained to identify and report suspicious activity.” I’m sure they know better than I do what to look for.

          • Suspicious like whinny crying kids that have to be carried onboard or teenagers that do not want to fly on daddy’s private airplane? Tell me, when so-called trained TSA agents are unable to see into the motives of passengers, how is a line crew being trained to see into souls?

  2. Ironically, low paid front line staff are also most susceptible to accept bribes and look the other way, how about incentivizing them with more than the moral high ground.

  3. I hope Signature can have a measurable positive impact on the problem. But it should not have come to the point that businesses unrelated to the issue have to become NGOs practicing “see something, say something.”

    • Hi, KckC! Tanks for your comment. It’s interesting to me to note that folks who long for the ‘good old days’ often point to how people looked out for each other and weren’t afraid to speak up or act if they saw something wrong! Those folks often say that one problem now is that too many people rely on the government to solve all of their problems. I’m having a hard time figuring out whether I should be upset by a private company choosing to help identify crimes, or whether I should just hope government officials take care of everything so I don’t have to be bothered!

      Perhaps it’s just that we’re just supposed to take any opportunity to criticize the government, no matter what? Is that what I’m supposed to take away from comments like yours and Arthur J Foyt’s? I’d love to hear back from you on this!

      Have a great day!

        • I’m sorry, KckC – I took your last sentence in your post as an indication that you were unhappy with the situation. Often a statement of regret (‘it should not have come to [this]’) is interpreted as disapproval or displeasure. Please forgive me if I misunderstood your intent in that statement! Perhaps you were engaging in irony!

          • You seem to spend a lot of energy and keystrokes wishcasting about other peoples’ motivations and opinions, followed by mischaracterizations and passive-aggressive attempts to hold those other people to your own misperceptions. I don’t know if your misperceptions are willful or not. You attempt to police the comments in a passive aggressive manner.
            Just to be clear – I really do not care about your opinion of me and/or my comments.

          • Say no more, KckC! I’ll remember going forward that your posts aren’t an invitation to discussion (with me, at least)!

            Have a great day!

  4. I’m not saying Signature shouldn’t be vigilant, but I have a hard time believing there is significant human trafficking occurring on biz jets.

  5. So sad that same “commentators” post comms like John and JA (if they are different people, which I doubt)

    • Hi, Bibocas! Thanks for referencing my posts! If you wouldn’t mind, would you please let me know what you found objectionable about my comments?

      Thanks, and have a great evening!

  6. Agreeing with the comment written by others that, relative to a comm made by someone else, says “…Perhaps it’s just that we’re just supposed to take any opportunity to criticize the government, no matter what? Is that what I’m supposed to take away from comments like yours and Arthur J Foyt’s?…” is, IMHO, an offense to one of the principies of democracy: the freedom of speech and the freedom of writing. You, as everyone else, have the right de desagree from the opinions and philosophies of the others. But, also IMHO, have not the right just to offend by words those whose opinions, ideas and philosophies are not shared or followed by You. Your duty is to explain what, in Your point of view, really think that those opinions, ideas, etc., are not right and the reasons that support Your way of thinking. May be You comm didn’t really meant to support what has been written by Mr. John and, so, I’ve misread it. In that case, I apologize. But if that wasn’t the case, I stand gor what I’ve written.

  7. I attempted to report human trafficking to hotline. Was told to call local police department. I reached out to police department and was told to contact sheriff departmet on other side of country. The traffickers were bringing migrant workers to farm in South Carolina and holding their passports forced labor camp. My friend drove across country and pulled his brother out in middle of night from the location. I solicited the address and attempted to report the matter, but efforts were stiffled by bureacracy. Needs to be national task force to deal with this matter proactively.