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Pilots Union Urges Adoption Of Secondary Cockpit Barrier

March 14, 2016 - American Airlines pilot's union, Allied Pilots Association (APA) which represents more than 15,000 pilots at American Airlines has expressed strong support for legislation that would require secondary cockpit barriers for larger commercial airliners.

The bill, H.R.911 in the House and S.911 in the Senate (Saracini Aviation Safety Act) would mandate secondary cockpit barriers for Part 121 commercial aircraft equipped with more than 75 passenger seats with a maximum gross takeoff weight exceeding 75,000 pounds.

Saracini Aviation Safety Act would mandate inexpensive, light weight wire-mesh gates to be installed between the passenger cabin and the cockpit door that would block access to the flight deck whenever the cockpit door is opened during flight.


The legislation is named in honor of United Airlines pilot Captain Victor J. Saracini, who was killed when terrorists hijacked United Flight 175 on September 11, 2001 and flew the aircraft into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Saracini’s widow, Ellen, is a leading advocate on the issue since her husband’s death.

APA President Capt. Keith Wilson said, “Secondary cockpit barriers would enhance aviation security, and we urge Congress to require their adoption. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, our nation’s professional pilots vowed ‘never again.’ As the last line of defense against another such attack, we committed ourselves to doing all we could to strengthen security for crewmembers and passengers. This amendment represents another significant step in that ongoing process.”

H.R.911 is part of the pending House Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act, with efforts underway to include S.911 in the Senate Commerce Committee bill for FAA reauthorization. “We want to express our appreciation to Representative Michael Fitzpatrick and Senator Robert Casey for sponsoring the bill and to Senator Edward Markey for offering the amendment in committee. We look forward to prompt approval of this important legislation,” Wilson said.



“Since 2001, there have been at least 43 hijacking attempts around the world, five of which were successful. We know the threat to our nation from foreign terror groups or lone wolf actors continues to exist onboard our nation’s aircraft, yet we’re not taking steps to stop them by installing secondary barriers,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick.

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