Federal Police Critical of Cockpit Security Legislation

 - August 19, 2013, 2:15 PM

The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) has condemned H.R. 2946 as a potentially fatal legislative stall tactic that would prevent the installation of secondary cockpit barriers aboard commercial aircraft. The bill, introduced by House aviation subcommittee chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to study and report on the risk posed to commercial aviation security if a cockpit door is opened during flight.

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) previously introduced H.R. 1775, the Saracini Aviation Safety Act, to mandate secondary barriers on all commercial aircraft.

On August 12, FLEOA argued that another study is not needed because the FAA is already studying the viability of secondary cockpit barriers with the TSA, along with airlines, aviation manufacturers (including Boeing) and security experts.

“Danger by any other name is still danger, and H.R. 2946 calls for an unnecessary study that will reach a conclusion that was already confirmed: secondary barriers between the cockpit and the cabin will save lives,” said FLEOA president Jon Adler. The association represents more than 26,000 federal law enforcement officers from more than 65 agencies.

LoBiondo’s office told AIN that his legislation is not intended to delay the process, but rather “to direct the TSA to review the security risk of current procedures and set [necessary] security standards for a secondary barrier if warranted. This is the best way to move this effort forward. Once the TSA has weighed in, the FAA can certify any additional equipment as safe for the aircraft.”