Senator Toomey Statement on FAA Reauthorization
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) released the following statement following passage of a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization.
"I am very pleased that today's FAA reauthorization included my bipartisan proposal to protect the traveling public from a terrorist rushing the cockpit, like the kind of attack we saw on September 11th. My provision requiring new commercial aircraft to have a ‘secondary' barrier will strengthen safety requirements established after September 11, 2001 and help to protect flight crews and travelers alike.
"This crucial measure would never have passed Congress without the work of Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, and most of all, the tireless efforts of Ellen Saracini, whose husband, Victor, was the captain of United Flight 175 when it crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. The security provisions included in today's FAA reauthorization bill aim to prevent similar terrorist attacks from ever happening again."
While cockpit doors are currently reinforced, a secondary barrier will protect passengers and crew during times in flights when cockpit doors are opened. A secondary cockpit barrier is a lightweight wire-mesh gate installed between the passenger cabin and cockpit door that is locked into place and blocks access to the flight deck. In 2003, a voluntary airline industry movement toward adopting secondary barriers began, but deployment of the devices waned. The barriers provide significantly more security to airline employees and passengers. A 2007 study conducted at the request of the Air Line Pilots Association International and the airline industry concluded that secondary cockpit barrier doors are the most cost-effective, efficient, and safest way to protect the cockpit.