Flight Attendants Call For Stronger Counterterrorism Provisions <


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Flight Attendants Call For Stronger Counterterrorism Provisions

Daniel Baxter

January 28, 2010 - Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) is calling for tightened aviation security after an attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day exposed weaknesses in the current system. On December 25th a 23 year old Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab arrested for attempting to destroy a Northwest Airlines aircraft on its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport by attaching device attached to his body. As the flight was approaching Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Abdulmutallab set off an explosive device which resulted in a fire.

AFA-CWA representatives have presented position papers and briefed dozens of Congressional leaders and their staff on flight attendant proposals for counterterrorism initiatives to help increase safety and security inside the aircraft cabin.


"Flight attendants serve a vital role in protecting the safety and security of passengers and crew inside the aircraft cabin. We should be provided the tools and resources necessary to ensure the integrity of the cabin is not compromised," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "For years, AFA-CWA has worked alongside industry experts in identifying measures that would help to enhance safety and we look for those measures to be implemented quickly."

AFA-CWA's counterterrorism strategy comes in the form of hands-on training, enhanced communication techniques, and carry-on bag limitations. Mandatory, hands-on and situational training for crew members and providing the resources necessary for recognizing and physically reacting to on-board terrorist activity are other elements of the plan. In addition, AFA-CWA recommends that on-board wi-fi systems used by passengers be kept off during periods of high risk as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 50,000 flight attendants at 22 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO.

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