CHICAGO, Sept. 4, 2002 å- United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) announced today it has begun installation of FAA-certified fortified cockpit doors on its commercial fleet well in advance of the government deadline of April of 2003.
“We are pleased to be an industry leader in putting in new cockpit doors that provide additional protection for the aircraft, crew and customers in the event of an unwanted intrusion,” said Ron Utecht, senior vice president-maintenance and engineering.
The new cockpit doors for the Boeing fleet, for example, incorporate these improved features:
á The doors can withstand blunt force resistance of 300 joules - an international energy measurement equal to a 220-pound person approaching the door at 5.5 miles an hour.
á Ballistic and explosive resistance materials.
á Blowout panels meeting the requirements for sudden decompression.
á An electronic locking system that allows pilots to admit or deny access to the flight deck using a switch on their cockpit control panels.
Earlier this month United engineers and aircraft maintenance technicians worked with Boeing to gain FAA certification of the fortified door on the B747-400, using a United aircraft. The aircraft is now in-service with the new door. Installation of certified fortified doors is also under way for the Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 fleets. United has completed installation of 12 new doors on Boeing 737-300/500 and one B747-400. The process of certifying prototypes for other United fleets - the Boeing 777, Boeing 767-300, Boeing 767-200, Airbus A-320 and Airbus A-319— is moving forward.
United Airlines operates nearly 2,000 flights a day on a route network that spans the globe. News releases and other information about United can be found at the company’s website at www.united.com.