Task force recommends strong air security measures
From Patty Davis
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Stronger cockpit doors with a deadbolt or crossbar and more security training for crew members are among the recommendations of a task force appointed in the wake of last month's deadly terrorist hijackings, according to a task-force document obtained by CNN.
The Rapid Response Task Force on Aircraft Security, composed of representatives from airlines, aircraft makers, pilots and flight attendants unions, is making the following recommendations to the Bush administration to heighten aviation security:
1. Flight deck door design:
-- Install a "deadbolt, crossbar, a net or other barrier devices" on cockpit doors within 30 days. The task force said all U.S. commercial aircraft could have these within 90 days.
-- Approve a new cockpit door design within six months.
2. Flight deck access:
-- Develop a way for flight attendants to notify pilots of a suspected threat in the cabin. On receipt of a warning, the pilot would make sure the cockpit door was locked and immediately begin landing procedures.
-- Develop within six months a way to verify the credentials of a non-company pilot or flight engineer who wants ride in the jump seat.
-- Develop within six months an automated system to identify those with legitimate access to the aircraft.
-- Have the industry evaluate the use of cameras and lighting outside the cockpit.
3. Defensive capabilities in cabin and flight deck areas:
-- Give crew members access to "non-lethal defensive capabilities" to be used in hijack emergencies.
-- Keep the cockpit door locked during a suspected security threat. Have flight attendants address cabin disturbances without the help of the pilots.
-- The Air Line Pilots Association called for the FBI to weigh in on arming pilots.
4. Security training:
-- Redesign security training for crew members.
-- Train all crew members within six months.
-- Provide security advisories to crews.
5. Cabin searches:
-- Provide more training for those doing current cabin searches.
-- In the long term, develop new a federal security agency responsible for doing cabin searches.
-- Create a new FAA task force to find ways to modify transponders so they will stay on during hijacking.
7. Aircraft defensive methods:
-- Within 30 days, identify pilot procedures -- including depressurization and rapid descent -- that could be used to thwart a hijacking.
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