Airlines Meet FAA`s Door Deadline

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of
Transportation`s Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) today announced
that more than 10,000 aircraft serving
the United States are now equipped with
new, hardened cockpit doors, making air
travel safer for passengers and crews.

FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey said
that the airlines met today`s deadline
to install doors that stop intruders and
small-arms fire because of the
extraordinary cooperation between the
FAA and the door and airplane
manufacturers. The FAA issued more than
30 design approvals for 25 airplane
models, many within hours after
receiving the final documentation from
the manufacturer.
“These hardened doors are part of
Secretary of Transportation Norman Y.
Mineta`s ?system of systems,? layers of
dramatically increased security measures
from curbside to the cockpit that make
our aviation system safer than ever,”
said Blakey. ?There was a unified sense
of urgency and cooperation between
industry and government worldwide.”
U.S. Air Carriers:
The Aviation and Transportation Security
Act (ATSA) of 2001 directed the FAA to
improve airplane security both
immediately (Phase I) and in the
long-term (Phase II). On October 9,
2001, the FAA published the first of a
series of Special Federal Aviation
Regulations (SFARs) to expedite the
modification of cockpit doors in the
U.S. fleet. This Phase I fix included
installation of steel bars and locking
devices. The FAA determined that the
security risk outweighed potential
safety risks associated with the Phase I
fix and granted short-term relief from
certain airworthiness requirements, such
as how the door performs during an
unlikely rapid decompression. 

On January 15, 2002, the FAA published
new standards to protect cockpits from
intrusion and small-arms fire or
fragmentation devices, such as grenades.
The rule required U.S. operators of
approximately 5,800 airplanes to install
hardened doors by today. It also
required that the doors remain locked
and cockpit access controlled. These new
Phase II doors meet all FAA design
Foreign Air Carriers:
On June 21, 2002, the FAA published
another final rule requiring foreign
airlines to install new cockpit doors on
aircraft serving the United States by
today. The rule also requires that the
cockpit door be closed and locked. The
FAA worked closely with foreign aviation
authorities and fully expects foreign
airlines to meet the deadline. FAA
inspectors conduct random ramp
inspections of foreign airlines and may
restrict flights if the FAA determines
non-compliance on the part of a foreign
airline. There are approximately 508
foreign (Part 129) airlines operating
approximately 4,213 airplanes that are
authorized to operate to the United States.

The purchase of each cockpit door
typically costs the airlines between
$30,000 and $50,000. The cost varied for
each airline depending on the number of
aircraft being retrofitted for each
model type. Congress originally
appropriated $100 million to the FAA to
distribute to U.S. airlines for aircraft
security enhancements, $97 million of
which were given to the airlines to help
defray the costs of cockpit doors
(approximately $13,000 per door).