Armed Airline Pilots? The FAA Wants YOUR Input

Tuesday, February 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

In an effort to help prevent more terrorist attacks such as those of September 11, Congressman Ron Paul introduced legislation in October of 2001 that would permit airlines to arm pilots. The proposal was later included in a larger airline security bill.

In November, Congress passed, and the president signed, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) that took effect in December. The Department of Transportation's FAA is now seeking public comment to assist it in developing recommendations for possible future actions to implement Section 128 of the ATSA. Section 128 provides that the pilot of a passenger aircraft, operated by an air carrier in air transportation or intrastate air transportation, is authorized to carry a firearm into the cockpit if -

  1. The Under Secretary for Transportation approves;
  2. The air carrier approves;The firearm is approved by the Under Secretary; and
  3. The pilot has received proper training in the use of the firearm as determined by the Under Secretary.

The FAA is asking for comments on what types of weapons and how many may be carried, how they are to be stored, and what training should be required.

You can submit your comments via the Web (anonymously if you choose) using the following instructions:

  1. Click here to open the comment page in a new window
  2. Fill out the name and address information, or leave out personal information to submit your comments anonymously.
  3. Enter the document ID number, FAA-2001-11229 in the document number box, select FAA from the operating administration drop down box, and click the "does exist" radio button in the document existence box. Then enter the Document Title: "Fire Arms, Less Than Lethal Weapons, and Emergency Services on Commercial Air Flights"
  4. Enter your comments in the Comments text box, making reference to the FAA docket number: FAA-2001-11229. When done, click on Submit.

Comments must be received by the FAA on or before February 14, 2002.