Press Release

American Alliance of Airport Police Officers

Secondary Barriers on Cockpit Doors Will Increase Airplane Security

Washington, D.C. – To bolster airplane security, and prevent cockpit breaches, the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers (AAAPO) calls for the installation of secondary barriers on cockpit doors and voices its strong endorsement of the Saracini Aviation Safety Act (H.R. 911; S. 911). The
AAAPO stands with Ellen Saracini—whose husband Victor was the pilot of hijacked United Flight 175, which struck the World Trade Center’s South Tower on 9/11—in her efforts to pass this important bill that is also endorsed by the American Pilots Association, which will increase safety and help thwart future hijackings.

With the recent passage of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, it is important to not only take stock of the current state of flight security, but also to implement reasonable measures to keep pilots, flight staff and passengers safe. Secondary barriers on cockpit doors would give flight crews additional time to stop a hijacker from breaching the cockpit and is an important piece of safety equipment that would protect pilots and give additional peace of mind to all aircraft crew and passengers. Airports continue to be high-value targets for terrorists, as do airplanes, so it is essential that we fortify and strengthen
security for both of these.

Secondary barriers on cockpit doors are inexpensive investments that can drastically reduce hijackings and safeguard cockpits. Passage of the Saracini Aviation Safety Act would mandate these barriers, which would deter terrorists from targeting airplanes and allow the flight crew to contain and shutdown an attacker before breaching the cockpit.

“Securing our nation’s passenger and commercial airplanes should be a high priority for lawmakers,” said Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, and co-founder of the AAAPO. “Ellen’s loss is a solemn reminder that safety in the sky is just as important as safety on
the ground.”

“Keeping our skies safe, as well as our airports is a job that the AAAPO does not take lightly and neither should legislators,” said Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association and co-founder of the AAAPO. “This is a measure that should be agreed to across the board and we stand with pilots and Ellen to support advancing this legislation.”