View Full Version : UA/AA to install cockpit security door

3rd Oct 2001, 09:45
Sorry if this is slightly repetitive, but I believe this happened today.

United to Add Steel Bars on Doors

CHICAGO (AP) - American and United, the nation's two biggest airlines, said Tuesday that they will immediately begin installing steel bars on the cockpit doors of all their planes. Other airlines are set to do the same to protect pilots and calm nervous passengers.

United spokesman Joe Hopkins said the airline is already talking with suppliers and the bars should be on doors within a matter of weeks.

"We've gotta do what we've gotta do right now,'' said Herb Hunter, a United pilot and spokesman for the airline's branch of the Air Line Pilots Association (news - web sites). "It's a wonderful first step.''

President Bush (news - web sites) has recommended the fortifications. A Transportation Department task force said Tuesday that airlines should begin installing stronger cockpit doors within 30 days.

American, the nation's No. 1 airline, said it has installed prototypes of the devices on an MD-80 and a Boeing 757, and will install them on all other aircraft types flown by American and TWA within 30 days.

The devices are designed to "immediately secure the cockpits while the FAA (news - web sites) explores ways to further enhance cockpit security,'' the airline said.

Other airlines, including Continental and Alaska, were prepared to begin installing the crossbar locking devices on their cockpit doors but were awaiting a more formal directive from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The steel bars are designed to prevent forced entry into a plane's control center, something that may have happened Sept. 11 on the four hijacked airliners that were taken over by terrorists.

The devices, however, have raised other safety concerns.

Aircraft maker Boeing expressed reservations about retrofitting planes with locking devices. The bars could prevent evacuation of the cockpit in an emergency, some airline industry observers say, and flight attendants have expressed concern about not being able to get into cockpits if pilots became incapacitated.

Hunter and others said the steel bars are an interim solution and that more comprehensive and long-term security procedures that could address those concerns are needed.

Picture of the proposed system:

I wonder what the protocol is for opening the door for coffee, restroom, etc etc...
Any official word on that yet?


3rd Oct 2001, 21:44
The FAA today issued an emergency directive banning Flight Attendants from possesing cockpit keys... so they aren't getting in their to help us now anyway. As for us leaving to use the washroom etc. well I don't know how they can ban that!