Wings Magazine

ASA’s aviation security expert’s tips for a trouble free Olympics

One of Asia’s leading business aviation security specialists is offering expert tips to travellers in order that they get the most out of their Olympics experience.

July 11, 2008  By Carey Fredericks

July 11 2008,  China –  One of Asia’s leading business aviation security specialists is offering expert tips to travellers in order that they get the most out of their Olympics experience.

Simon Wagstaff founder and managing director of Hong Kong based ASA Group says: “The event has attracted massive publicity and as such we anticipate that the local police and security bureau will have Beijing well locked down, so that general security risks are likely to be mitigated, and therefore not a major concern for the general public attending the events.

However, he adds: “We have recently seen a large backlash against China from various factions protesting about China's human rights record, who may well attempt to use the mass media coverage of the games to publicize their cause and attempt to disrupt the event. Should any such incident occur, it is possible that attendees may be caught up and as such should be on the look out for anything they instinctively feel is not right or suspicious.”

ASA also advises travellers be wary of some well-practized scams as they head to China’s capital and beyond. Wagstaff says: “Consider the fact that such large crowds of visitors unfamiliar with Beijing will attract pickpockets, fraudsters and other petty criminals. Some popular scams to be aware of are offers of taxi services not from authorised taxi pick up points or requests to have a drink with a friendly local in order to help him improve his English skills.” Other issues to be aware of are the inflated prices and lack of availability of basic services such as transport and hotel rooms.


According to ASA, generally travelling within China is a simple issue, however during the Olympics period all locations will be busy as people combine multi location trips with visiting Beijing. Prices and availability may well reflect this. In addition the heat could be an issue for the young or older travellers. It is important to ensure they hydrate properly. Pollution may also affect those with breathing difficulties.

Wagstaff’s advice is born from years of experience of living and working in the region. A decorated ex-soldier for the British army, he helps private aviation travellers to get around the region comfortably and safely. He says: “We assist with all aspects of the trip, by acting as the travel and security coordinator for our clients.” He recommends his clients plan ahead and letting ASA know their itinerary. That way the company can vet and arrange all the hotel ground transportation and visit sites can be advanced and coordinated.

ASA has seen a rise in the number of bookings for passengers wishing to travel further throughout the region. Wagstaff says: “There are many beautiful sights throughout Asia. For travellers wishing to extend their stay to experience other parts of China we would recommend the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, the riverside cafes, restaurants and nightlife on the Bund in Shanghai, tours on the Pearl or Yangtze rivers or even a stay on Sanya, the “Chinese Mediterranean,” an up and coming and popular beach resort location on Hainan Island, Southern China.” For more details, call on +66 2 260 7588.

About The Asa Group

Simon Wagstaff was born and bred in the UK, and has more than 32 years’ experience in the security and travel business. He has lived in Asia since 1990. In that time he has worked in almost every country in the Asia Pacific region. A British Empire Medal holder, he was honoured for meritorious service in the British military. He spent several years on active counter-terrorist duty in Europe and served in the British military for 18 years. He is also a Falklands War veteran, and has seven active duty tours in Northern Ireland to his credit. He also completed the Aviation Security Management course at the world renowned International Centre for Air Transport Management in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The ASA Group is the leading provider of elite travel, private aviation and security services for VIPs and discerning travellers in Asia Pacific. For over ten years its experts have given clients the security, knowledge and integrated facilities they need to travel, tour, or do business in the region. With an in-depth knowledge of the issues surrounding travel throughout the Asia Pacific region, ASA is able to provide its customers with advice and suggestions to help ensure the smoothest trips possible.

ASA’s clients include: heads of state, Fortune 500 bosses, government officials, aid agencies, international celebrities and high-end tourists. It has offices in UK, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket) and Cambodia, as well as an extensive worldwide network of partners.

For more information on the ASA Group go to or contact Simon Wagstaff on


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