Tags: Testimony: | Arm | Defend | Lives

Testimony: Arm Us to Defend Lives

Tuesday, 25 September 2001 12:00 AM

That’s the testimony of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA).

Appearing Tuesday before the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Captain Duane Woerth, ALPA President, urged a long list of live-saving security reforms, including arming flight crew members.

For the short term, Woerth told the lawmakers, "We recommend the installation of at least two stun guns as standard equipment in the cockpits of airline aircraft, three if there are three flight crewmembers.”

In his prepared testimony, the man who speaks for the nation’s pilots described the "sophisticated stun guns on the market today that are capable of immediately incapacitating a person of any size or strength without posing any health risks to the individual.”

The guns, capable of being used on a person up to 15 feet away "would be [used] in only the most extreme circumstances to protect the lives and safety of the passengers and crew.”

For longer term planning, "lethal force could be used to advantage,” as editorially proposed by NewsMax.com.

However, ALPA says a remedy for "a seriously deficient employee identification system that must be addressed” first. Government reports have repeatedly warned that the security system is not doing the job, Woerth recalls, but many of those warning documents have been allowed to gather dust.

The ideal solution, he believes, is the use of "electronic means of positively identifying those individuals who are authorized entrance to an area and keeping out all others.”

The FAA is in the process of developing a highly secure Memory Chip Card (MCC) to identify armed security officers, a technology ALPA believes can also be used to "positively screen airline employees traversing the screening checkpoint.”

Pending that, all employees and armed law enforcement officers "should be examined and validated by the airport police at the ... checkpoint.” Or perhaps for airports with computerized access control systems, there could be "a card reader at the screening checkpoint for use by employees.”

Once tight security measures are implemented, Woerth says "lethal force could be used to advantage.”

ALPA is convinced that "airline pilots who meet strict qualifications could voluntarily be trained as sworn federal law enforcement officers with arrest authority and allowed to carry weapons in the cockpit to protect themselves and their passengers.”

In presenting a long list of suggestions for improved protection for passengers, Woerth declared to Congress, "Aviation security must be dramatically improved, and it must begin not next month or next year, but today. It must happen now to limit the amount of damage being done each day to health of our national economy.”

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That's the testimony of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA). Appearing Tuesday before the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Captain Duane Woerth, ALPA President, urged a long list of live-saving security reforms,...
Testimony:,Arm,Defend,Lives
428
2001-00-25
Tuesday, 25 September 2001 12:00 AM
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