Should Be Commended for Beginning to Arm Pilots to Enhance Airline Safety
For Immediate Release.
September 9, 2002 On
Thursday, September 5, 2002, the Senate made a step in the right direction
to increase airline safety by passing on an 87-6 vote the Boxer-Smith
that would prohibit airlines and the federal government from barring
armed pilots. Also, for flight
attendants, the amendment mandates a minimum of 28 hours of self-defense
security measures fail to provide adequate airline passenger protection
in the event of terrorists attempting to take over airplanes.
For example, in the United States (U.S.), with most air marshals
working apparently in pairs, of the 35,000 daily commercial flights
less than one percent are being protected.
And according to the pilot’s union, the marshal’s program would
cost annually $10 billion and require a workforce the size of the U.S.
Marine Corps to protect most planes.
it is harder today for terrorists to take over an airplane as a result
of pre-flight screening and passenger awareness, there still have been
several security breaches throughout the nation’s airports that have
forced airplanes in mid-flight to return to the airport to have passengers
screened for a second time by metal detectors. Also, making it through security in recent
weeks have been long scissors, box cutters, knives, and guns.
are encouraged to try to attempt to take over an airplane if they know
they are not adequately defended. Arming pilots is just one way to effectively
deter terrorists from such actions.
“Allowing trained armed
pilots is a proactive approach to preventing terrorists from turning
airplanes into weapons of mass destruction,” said Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski,
president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy.
“Allowing pilots to be armed will provide a last line of defense
to keep terrorists out of the cockpit because pilots can defend the
airplane’s controls from intruder entrance.
It is too late to do much more than have the U.S. air force shoot
down a terrorist compromised airplane which will result in the lose
of many lives just because opponents of armed pilots feel guns do not
belong in the cockpit.”
Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
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