WASHINGTON, D.C.—-The following statement was issued today by Capt. Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) in reaction to the recent TSA notice to airlines regarding increased security for a potential terrorist attack:
“The TSA announcement is a prudent precaution in light of intelligence about potential terrorist activity. However, it does not necessitate any change in our security practices as pilots, nor should the public be alarmed by such announcements.
“Airline pilots already are well prepared to deal with threats of terrorist action. We don’t need special alerts, we don’t need to wait for the threat level to go to yellow or orange, because we already have the tools and the procedures we need to keep our passengers safe, day in and day out.
“Thanks to the numerous improvements that were implemented in the wake of 9/11, pilots have received detailed training on procedures for reacting to specific events on their airplanes. We will not open locked cockpit doors in the face of a hijacking. We will defend our cockpits and, in increasing numbers, we will defend them with pilots who are trained, armed law enforcement officers.
“If I have any cautionary message to tell, it is that this security bulletin should be a reminder that the terrorist threat has not gone away, and that Congress and the administration must continue to provide full funding for all of the security programs that have been put in place to protect our air transportation system.”
ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilots union, representing 66,000 airline pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit its Web site at www.alpa.org.