Air Activities Safeguarding Guidance
(Published January 2018, last reviewed with no update 2022)
This guidance aims to provide some practical advice to those wishing to deliver air activities to young people using two seat aircraft.
This guidance applies to all aircraft types and ownership providing specific guidance on how to adhere to the Association’s Child Protection policy whilst using two seat aircraft.
We recognise that this activity has the potential to breach the Yellow Card by placing adults in a 1-2-1 situation with a young person. The following guidance gives you practical ways to assess and mitigate the activity locally so two seat air activities can take place safely and within the rules of the Association.
Our aim is to ensure that young people and adults are supported during activities where there is potential for heightened fear and emotion which could result in a safeguarding incident or welfare concern.
POR Rule 2.4t states:
“Nothing in the rules of the Association, or any guidance produced by it, may be construed as permitting an adult to take a young person away on an activity alone. No activity may take place where only one adult and one young person are present.”
The Scout Association’s ‘Young People First’ code of practice (Yellow Card) then assists with the practical application of this and explains this as:
Don't plan to be alone with a young person – Do plan activities that involve more than one other person being present, or at least within sight or hearing of others.
Where possible aircraft should be used which allow for more people to be present but where this is not possible, for example in gliders or microlights the following measures must be in place to ensure that the policy is met and the risk of an allegation made against a pilot is reduced:
- POR Rules within Chapter 9 must be followed as appropriate for the activity undertaken
- Pilots who do not hold a role in Scouting must be given a current copy of The Scout Association’s ‘Young People First’ code of practice (Yellow Card) prior to the activity.
- The Leader in Charge on the ground is responsible for monitoring the welfare of young people before, during and after their flight. This can be practically done by another adult leader but their responsibility must not be delegated to a third party.
- Ways of monitoring include, but are not limited to:
- Live radio contact between the pilot, the young person and an adult Leader on the ground or
- A camera is installed in the cockpit (permanent or temporary) to record the flight. In a side by side seating arrangement, heads, hand and knees of both the pilot and the young person must be in view. The recordings must be kept in line with our data protection policy and for a minimum of 28 days.
Where a provider is not in a position to meet the requirements above then they must not be used for the delivery of an air activity experience to young people within Scouting.
Where aircraft has more than 2 seats, no activity may take place where only one adult and one young person are present. This not only limits the safeguarding risk but also makes the most economical use of the flight experience for young people.
NOTE: The content of this document is not new guidance but is simply applying the existing rules of The Scout Association to a specific circumstance which members regularly enquire about.