“John Magaw is to be congratulated on his decision not to authorise the carrying of guns in commercial airline cockpits in the United States. His decision is totally in accord with my view and that of the Members of this Association, worldwide,” said IATA Director General & CEO Pierre J. Jeanniot.
The Director General referred to the statement made 21 May, by US Transportation Security Under Secretary Magaw to the Senate Commerce Committee, in which he stated that he will not allow pilots to carry firearms, but will leave law enforcement on aircraft in the hands of air marshals who have undergone highly specialised military-like training.
“The job of pilots is to fly aeroplanes without any interruption or distraction,” continued Jeanniot. “That means failsafe measures to prevent unauthorised entry to cockpits and the selective employment of air marshalls, as responses in the event that terrorists have gained access to an aircraft.”
“Naturally, the best policy is to minimise the risk of terrorist access either to countries or airports, let alone aircraft,” concluded the Director General. “That policy can be best served by advance intelligence and effective screening of passengers and crew using standardised, biometric-based, techniques.”