Mirrors Mandate For Hardened Cockpit Doors On Passenger Airliners

ALPA is praising legislation introduced by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) that would require the installation of intrusion-resistant cockpit doors (IRCD) in all-cargo airline operations. The Cargo Flight Deck Security Act of 2020 is an important step toward the establishment of one level of security for both passenger and all-cargo flight operations.

“For far too long, there has been a dangerous double standard when it comes to common safety and security provisions for cargo pilots. Thanks to Reps. Garcia and Fitzpatrick’s leadership, this bill will help advance commercial aviation by protecting not only pilots and their cargo, but also citizens in communities on the ground and our aviation network,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.

After 9/11, Congress mandated hardened cockpit doors on commercial airliners. Unfortunately, the only all-cargo aircraft included were those that had cockpit doors at that time. The majority of all-cargo aircraft were not equipped with doors, and virtually all cargo aircraft manufactured since are not equipped with the hardened cockpit door.

One example of a critical threat that an IRCD would help mitigate is found on all-cargo flights that transport large animals. During these operations, animal handlers are often on board and equipped with potentially lethal animal tranquilizers in case of emergency. These individuals, who are not airline employees and not always U.S. citizens, are seated directly behind the pilots and are not required to meet the same security background checks as any other individual with access to an aircraft flight deck. Without a door separating them, these unvetted individuals continue to have access to the flight deck and pilots during flight.

“The all cargo airline arena continues to be identified as a significant security target in our aviation system, yet current regulatory requirements allow relatively unfettered access to the cargo flight deck during flight operations,” said DePete. “ALPA encourages Congress to pass this important bipartisan bill to mandate hardened cockpit doors on all-cargo airliners and close the gap in aviation safety loopholes for cargo pilots.”

(Source: ALPA news release. Image from file)

FMI: www.alpa.org