Passenger aircraft could benefit from an additional level of flight deck security if the proposed laws in the United States were adopted.
US lawmakers insist that aviation safety be strengthened, including requiring airlines to install secondary security doors between cabins and cockpits on all aircraft to prevent 9/11 attacks, Reuters Reports.
Despite the many developments in aircraft safety since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when hijacked planes flew to the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, four American representatives – Democrats Andre Carson and Josh Gottheimer and Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick and Peter King – said in a press release, hijackings still posed a threat.
Last year, the US Congress imposed on security guards on newly built aircraft the obligation to secure cockpits from the cockpit if pilots were to go to the washroom or eat.
The new bill, introduced last week, would extend these requirements to existing jets.
The proposed secondary barriers would put a second door between the cockpit door and the rest of the aircraft.
The bill is called the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Security Act, named after pilot Victor Sacarini, who was killed during the hijacking of his plane during the September 11 attacks.
His widow, Ellen Saracini, has since become an advocate for aviation safety.
"It is unacceptable that, more than 17 years after terrorists entered the cockpit of my husband's plane on 11 September 2001, our skies are still likely to reiterate this act of terrorism," he said. she declared.
"My mission is to ensure that we make every effort to protect the cockpit aboard the airliners of our country because, without secondary barriers, we are just as vulnerable today as we were that day. fateful."
According to Reuters, current measures to prevent hackers from rushing into the cockpit include the installation of a flight attendant or a meal cart outside the door.
A study by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – which oversees aviation safety in the United States – revealed that cockpits were vulnerable when pilots had to get out of the vehicle, according to the representatives' press release.
Secondary doors were the most effective and cost-effective solution to the problem. Legislators have stated that it would cost about USD 5,000 (USD 7,400) to USD 12,000 (USD 17,800) to install lightweight trellis fences in a single aircraft.
However, the business group Airlines for America – which represents major carriers such as American Airlines, Southwest and United – said that it should be the responsibility of each carrier to decide to install such systems.
Association spokesman Vaughn Jennings told Reuters that the airline industry has already worked closely with the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to put in place enhanced security systems at the airport. following the 11th of September.
The union of American pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association, said it supported the legislation.
Aircraft gates have been strengthened and airport security controls have been reinforced by the TSA following the attacks of 11 September.
The Federal Air Marshal Service also places armed US air force agents on flights around the world and is supervised by the TSA.
However, according to Reuters, some critics doubt the effectiveness of passenger screening, as well as the Air Marshal program.