Miami, FL,
19:08 PM

MIA is first Florida airport to join DHS campaign against human trafficking

The Blue Lightning Initiative trains aviation industry employees to recognize and respond to potential human trafficking victims

In recognition of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Miami International Airport (MIA) announced a formal partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fight human trafficking through the Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) program. 

MIA is the first airport in Florida to join this training initiative to help ensure that the millions of Americans who travel each year, even during these new normal circumstances, are better informed and able to assist in this fight. 

Miami-Dade County fully supports the anti-human trafficking goals of the Blue Lightning Initiative. I’m proud that Miami International Airport, under the leadership of Director Sola, continues to empower its employees and the traveling public with the knowledge to identify potential cases of human trafficking. As County Commissioner, I championed policies for public awareness and action against this terrible crime. As Mayor, I remain committed to working alongside all our partners as we fight together to end human trafficking
Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County

MIA officially partnered with DHS and the U.S. Department of Transportation in November 2020, building on the collaboration forged earlier in the year in preparation for Super Bowl LIV, when the agencies held training sessions for MIA employees on the indicators of human trafficking.

MIA is proud to be the first airport in Florida to join the Blue Lightning Initiative. Airports are uniquely positioned to help raise awareness and train its employees to properly identify and report suspicious behavior

Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO

MIA will provide the Blue Lightning training program to its nearly 1,400 employees: with new employees receiving the training as part of their onboarding process. There are plans to expand the training to the entire airport community in an effort to protect employees and customers alike. Some airlines operating at MIA already participate in the program.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proud to work with partners nationwide to train front-line workers across all modes of transportation to recognize and report suspected instances of human trafficking. When front-line transportation employees are trained, actionable tips are reported to law enforcement to help stop this crime
Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy
The DHS Blue Campaign is proud to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Miami International Airport. MIA joins a growing list of over 50 aviation partners working to combat human trafficking through our Blue Lightning Initiative. We look forward to assisting MIA with their training efforts and expanding this initiative to additional Airports throughout the U.S
Brandi Bynum, Acting Blue Campaign Program Manager
Human trafficking is a crime that is often hidden in plain sight, you could have a victim right next to you and most people would not be able to identify them as a victim. Awareness campaigns that train and educate travel industry workers and the public to identify potential victims of this heinous crime are essential in helping HSI rescue these victims and putting their traffickers behind bars

Anthony Salisbury, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations

Travelers will also see BLI messages in new locations throughout their journey, particularly in pre-security areas of high concurrence near the checkpoints and at the passport screening areas. Other awareness materials will be made available to the traveling public at the information counters.

CBP is committed to the DHS Blue Lightning Initiative partnership with MDAD as part of a collective effort to combat human trafficking. Recognizing and reporting suspected instances of human trafficking is critically important
Vernon T. Foret, Director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection Miami and Tampa Field Office

The Blue Lightning Initiative is an element of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign led jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a DHS agency. BLI trains personnel to combat human trafficking within the commercial aviation industry.

When such suspicions are triggered, employees have been instructed to follow the BLI reporting protocol and expeditiously report tips to the DHS Tip Line number at (866) 347-2423.

* The United States Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Transportation are Federal agencies of the United States Government and are separate and distinct entities from this Airport system.

Three-minute training preview video