Thursday, March 17, 2005

Airline Security - View from the Cockpit

On the last day of February, 2005, the TSA re-issued its list of Prohibited Items: that is, the list of items one is not allowed to carry aboard a commercial aircraft, or into “sterile” areas of airports. This prompted me to write a short commentary piece about airline security in this blog, two weeks ago.

By the nature of my work, I chat with aircrews all the time. I know that my views on this subject are shared by many in the aviation industry. Case in point: A group known as the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA).

CAPA is a trade group claiming to represent the views of over 22,000 professional pilots. A week ago the organization issued an Aviation Security Report Card in an effort “to highlight the problems in our nation’s aviation security system.” I was particularly struck by this paragraph in the press release (dated March 10, 2005), that announced the CAPA Aviation Security Report Card:

Airline security still gets average to failing grades in over a dozen subject areas with a GPA a little over 1.1, or letter grade D. Rating “F” grades from CAPA were such critical security measures as screening airline employees, screening cargo, biometric credentialing for crewmembers, self-defense training, and countering shoulder-mounted missiles (MANPADS).

If you are concerned about these same kinds of aviation security issues, you might be interested to have a look at the CAPA website. There’s good information there about things you can do to help change what needs to be changed.