Pilots Take On Post-9/11 Aviation Security

By ABC News

Sep 9, 2011 12:13pm

ABC’s Matt Hosford (@ABCAviation) reports:

Ten years after planes were tragically turned into weapons, what do pilots think about aviation security?

In a report published today, the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), the largest pilot union in the U.S., asserts that while aviation security has improved post 9/11, “gaps” still exist.

“The 9/11 attacks forced the government and airline industry to reevaluate how to secure air transportation and take on an entirely different kind of terrorist threat,” Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president, said in a statement posted on the group’s website.

“Together, the regulators, the airlines, other airline industry employees, and the pilots who are on the front lines of aviation security have taken many important actions, but the threat is very real, and much more needs to be done.”

What more do they think needs to be done?

In particular pilots are asking for what they call a “threat-based” security approach.   ALPA says in its report,  ”not all airline passengers pose an equal threat, so the goal of security screening must not be to only detect and interdict prohibited items, but also to distinguish between the known individual, the unknown individual, and those individuals who intend to do harm.”  While the pilots union acknowledges that the Transportation Security Administration is moving towards a system more in line with a risk-based system, ALPA is asking for broader implementation.

Other areas cited as lacking in the group’s report include air cargo screening and a lack of funding for the program that allows pilots to carry weapons in the cockpit.   Pilots are also issuing a call to further secure cockpits by installing an additional barrier between the cabin and the cockpit.

You can read the full ALPA report here.

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