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BALPA say: Anti-terrorist cockpit doors 'dangerous'

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BALPA say: Anti-terrorist cockpit doors 'dangerous'

Old 2nd Nov 2001, 02:12
  #21 (permalink)  
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Hand Solo - Touché !

You, CD, Guv (and others) are imho quite right, in that that the first line of defence should not be an armoured or locked flight-deck door – this should only be viewed as the very final arbiter in a chain of prevention.... and right now that chain is nothing like strong enough ! i.e. the airlines are promoting it big time, but they're seemingly doing very little at the coalface of the check-in.
E.g. Hands up all those who think that the check-in process, security screening, embarkation process is tough / secure enough ?

Bottom line is that it’s still a ‘relative’ piece of p!ss to board an aircraft with malicious aforethought – and that’s a thought I take with me to work every day, and so should you !

Nb. I’ve literally just heard on the news that OBL has basically just asked Moslems to ‘Rise up against the West’ and you can rest assured that there are thousands of his wacker followers out there who will do just that. Nb. And they don't all look like Afghans.
So please, please, please, ALWAYS assume that one of his scum have made it aboard your aircraft – accordingly, you will then be the last line of defence..... and of course your plan is.... ?! ...... Yep, it’s wake up time fellas, you might be next.

Ps. It might also be said that there’s a seemingly terrific thread waiting in the wings, with regards to the CRM aspects of a locked and armoured door. E.g. In locking the door it might be said that we’ve taken an action which many have endeavoured for years to break down, e.g. the ‘apparent’ divide across the flight-deck door, but here we are now resurrecting it.

So, what now all those CRM / MCC refreshers we have to sit through, i.e. why bother ? as it’s now, more so than ever, a case of them (the cabin crew) or us (as in all of us) - as in damned if you do, and if you don’t !
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 05:31
  #22 (permalink)  
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Hans -
The doors we have are only a makeshift emergency solution until a purpose-built and highly functional engineering design can be adopted. There is no danger of inadvertant locking. It is not a substitute for enhanced/effective screening (we're doing that too) or other security measures, only another sieve in the process. A secure cockpit is not a hinderance to effective crew coordination. Procedural methods ensure secure entry and exit. From you reference about the doors being locked on Sep 11, it's obvious you don't understand the functionality of existing cockpit doors.

In the interim, until proper emergency venting is developed, the risk of rapid D or duel/triple pilot incapitation is microscopic compared with the clear and present risk of losing command of the aircraft and encouraging the impression that the aircraft cockpit continues to be a soft target.

As usual, it seems those with virilent opposition to secure cockpits, falsify assumptions and inflate historically insignificant occurances in an attempt to justify their position.

Whatever the Brit & Euros do, good luck. The UK used to garner alot of American tourist money. Between Foot&Mouth and now this, we need to get the North Atlantic traffic going again, both ways and by all our airlines. If it gets any worse, I'll be one of unemployment statistics too. I know you guys are there are hurting badly as well. We've got get our pax back in their seats, and not paying sub-cost airfares. They've got to be safe AND feel safe.

[ 02 November 2001: Message edited by: Roadtrip ]
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 08:08
  #23 (permalink)  
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There appears to be an attempted BALPA hijack in progress, allow me to raise some of their finer points for enhanced security screening and possible body cavity checks;

“You cannot turn the cockpit, which is the nerve centre of a complex environment, into a fortress.”

Evidently you can, however, easily turn it into a weapon of mass destruction.

“We cannot understand why the airlines didn’t first have full and frank discussions with pilots,…”

I am quite certain the “injured princess” ploy will not find sympathetic ears in the general public at large, nor will it receive much enthusiasm from New York.

“There is a suspicion that the announcements today are public relations and marketing led...”

I wonder who, exactly, are the individuals who fear to be identified as the suspicious ones. Poorly conceived strategic planning my friends, you defeat your own causes by creating sharp divisive camps within the industry, especially at a time like this. Most certainly, something needs to be done, and urgently before the whole industry slides inexorably closer to the abyss in a mire of indecision. As the elected and self-proclaimed leaders of the pilot community are not taking the initiative, someone will have to.

“The International Federation of Air Line Pilot Associations, at its Tokyo conference two weeks ago, opposed the enforced locking of flight deck doors, especially doors that are deadlocked and cannot be opened from where the pilots sit. That is the view of the whole of the world pilot community.”

That appears to be the view of the privileged few who participate in such conferences, you take yourselves rather glibly it seems. Perhaps there are El Al flight deck and cabin crew out there who would care to comment?

“It’s on the ground that terrorists need to be stopped, and new systems have been developed that are about to be trialled. Once a terrorist gets on an airliner it’s too late.”

It is too late for many things. It is not too late, however, to address and defeat the threat that exists at this very moment, passengers’ lives are the stakes with which you presently gamble. “About to be trialled” indicates an uncertain date at some point in the future, and is not, therefore, a decisive option. If the terrorists cannot be stopped with any reasonable certainty on the ground, then we must have a contingency plan for the cockpit.

This document does not in any way represent “the whole of the world pilot community”, the sheer manipulative effrontery of BALPA in presenting it as so is an appalling and disgraceful insult to the profession.
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 10:30
  #24 (permalink)  
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The "whole of the world" doesn't include that little pocket of aviation, the United States. I know we're rather insignificant compared to places like Japan, the UK and Botswana, but I think we deserve recognition anyway. In this little corner of the world, both the public and pilots, by overwhelming majority, want secure cockpit doors and armed pilots for last ditch cockpit defense.

"Whole of the world" indeed. When 5 terrorists waltz into their cockpits and slice their throats and take command, maybe they'll change their minds, just before they, their passengers, and thousands on the ground die. These people are buffoons.
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 10:57
  #25 (permalink)  
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Whilst secure cockpit doors are an obvious solution, for the majority of the short haul aircraft they are completely useless if the toilet is the wrong side of them. Are we all to be catherterised and have colostomy bags? And call me cynical, but what is the point of having check-in and security checks if there are weapons on the aircraft. All the terrorist has to do is wait for the pilot to have a pee, and then they have both access to the cockpit and a weapon. Brilliant - NOT.
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 12:17
  #26 (permalink)  
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It's really simple.

How many times - as part of a single, co-ordinated action - have airliners been used as flying bombs?

Answer: once.

How many times have aircraft suffered from pilot incapcitation, rapid decompression, loss of flight deck windows, birdstrikes/hail smashing cockpit windows?

Answer: loads.

The chances of a September 11 type attack happening again are miniscule. It was a 'spectacular' that would not have the same impact if repeated.

However, by causing the West's airlines to run around like headless chickens spending millions unnecessarily - and by deterring the pax from flying - the bad guys have won.

Don't let them.
Old 2nd Nov 2001, 13:16
  #27 (permalink)  
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What a sad bunch we are logical thinking seems to gone out of the window as we rush headlong towards a security agenda dictated by the tabloid press , yes we do need a cockpit door that will resist attack but we must be able to unlock it from all the crew seats in case we need help from the cabin crew and the cabin crew must be able to enter without help from us if they feel it is nesessary the door is just the first line of defence that we can employ in the event of an atempted hi-jack but not the most important ,however it is the only one that the tabloid press can understand and so seens to have taken on an importance out of all preportion.

BALPA are right to question the door issue after all do we realy we want the press and worst the inmates of the house of commons dictating security policy in the standard knee jerk reaction that we see from these people who just want publicity to futher there political ambitions or do we want security in depth that can only be acheved with a number of interlocking security measures that cannot be explaned in the press or dont have the "quick fix" that is needed for a bit of political self publicity.
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Old 2nd Nov 2001, 19:17
  #28 (permalink)  
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I along with all other BA Executive Club members received the following email today, which is really going to make me run out and fly BA ... not!

Dear Mr Robertson,

The additional security measures we have put in place over the last few weeks such as additional passenger and hand baggage searches, banning visits to the flight deck and preventing the carriage of sharp objects are all part of our commitment to ensuring you have a safe and secure flight with British Airways.

On 31 October, we announced the start of a major new security improvement designed to prevent unauthorised access to the flight deck. British Airways has designed a full-length metal plate which will be fitted to the exterior of cockpit doors. We will also be strengthening the door lock and hinges. Installation work has begun and will be completed as soon as possible.

This is the first stage in a continuing programme of security enhancements which compliments security improvements already introduced on the ground, at airports and across the worldwide network. British Airways currently spends 100 million pounds a year on security measures and is fully compliant with all UK Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) and Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) security regulations.

The airline continues to examine a range of other security initiatives. Consideration is being given to measures such as CCTV on the flight deck and the introduction of electronic passenger blacklisting software.

You can be certain that we will do everything possible to continue to ensure that you have a safe and secure flight with us.

We look forward to welcoming you on-board soon.

Yours sincerely
David Hyde
Director of Safety and Security
Old 2nd Nov 2001, 20:29
  #29 (permalink)  
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Let's get something straight - the locked cockpit door policy on British airliners has been mandated by the CAA and is a legal requirement that applies to all British airlines, not just BA and VS. The finer points of practical implementation presumably lie with the airlines themselves, but the policy itself is mandated by the CAA - as the FAA has done in the States.

Secondly, what is all this crap about cabin crew not being able to access the cockpit in case of pilot incapacitation etc etc etc rhubarb, rhubbarb, rhubarb....? I have yet to see a cockpit door that cannot be unlocked from either side and as far as I am aware it is not the intention to start now. If one of the pilots becomes incapacitated, the cabin crew will still be able to get in to help, it will merely take them a few seconds longer. You guys are missing the whole point of this policy - it is not to keep the hijackers out of the flight deck indefinitely, it is to keep them out long enough for a) the pilots to be ready to meet them with the crash axe at the ready b)to enable the cabin crew and the rest of the pax to get there to help. Do you seriously think, after 11 September, that any planeload of pax is going to sit idly by whilst someone attempts to rush the cockpit or break down the door?

I agree wholeheartedly that the place to stop these scum is on the ground, but we all know that no security system in the world is foolproof, (not even El Al's I daresay)and we therefore need a defence in depth - if they penetrate the first line, hopefully the next line will catch them. The locked cockpit door is the last line of defence - hopefully it will never be needed, and it's certainly by no means foolproof, but in the present climate it's a sensible precaution.
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