The Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) is an element of the DHS Blue Campaign, led by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and DHS Component Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The BLI trains aviation 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.
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 is 20 minutes in length, and is comprised of four lessons that include:
- What is Human Trafficking?
- Indicators of Human Trafficking Activity
- Reporting Suspected Human Trafficking
- Indicator Challenge
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 (1-866-DHS-2-ICE or 1-866-347-2423).
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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Participation is open to any U.S. aviation industry organization. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security are considering whether and how to expand the BLI training to foreign-flagged airlines.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation are pleased to partner with the following organizations in combating human trafficking through the Blue Lightning Initiative. 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
- 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.
- Silver Airways
- SkyWest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
- UPS Airlines
- Waltzing Matilda Aviation
- Appleton International Airport
- Barkley Regional Airport
- Bishop International Airport
- 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 International Airport
- Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole
- Gerald R. 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 Muhammad Ali International Airport
- Martha's Vineyard Airport
- Miami International Airport
- Milwaukee Mitchell International
- Northeast Ohio Regional Airport
- Philadelphia International Airport
- Redding Municipal Airport
- Richmond International Airport
- Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
- Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
- Rogue Valley International - Medford Airport
- San Antonio International Airport
- Stillwater Regional Airport
- Tucson Airport Authority
- Air Medical Operators Association (AMOA)
- Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA)
- Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA)
- Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)
- Helicopter Association International
- National Air Carrier Association (NACA)
- National Air Transportation Association (NATA)
- Regional Airline Association
- Locked On
- The Ohio State University – Center for Aviation Studies
- University of North Dakota – Department of Aviation
- Disclaimer: These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.
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.
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 DHS Blue Campaign's general awareness training to recognize and report human trafficking.