All-Cargo Operations Legislative Update

By ALPA Staff

A bill was recently introduced in Congress that tightens a loophole that leaves pilots on all-cargo flights subject to harm through open cockpit doors. The legislation (H.R. 6190), introduced by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), would require the installation of intrusion-resistant cockpit doors on all-cargo airliners.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed legislation requiring hardened cockpit doors on airliners. However, cargo operations were carved out of the legislation due to the efforts of special-interest groups. The proposed legislation is an effort to remedy the disparity between cargo and passenger operations and protect the pilots of all-cargo airliners.

“For far too long, there’s been a dangerous double standard when it comes to common safety and security provisions for cargo pilots,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA’s president. “Thanks to the leadership of Reps. Garcia and Fitzpatrick, the bill will help advance commercial aviation by protecting not only pilots and their cargo but also citizens in communities on the ground and our aviation network.

“The all-cargo airline arena continues to be identified as a significant security target in our aviation system, yet current regulatory requirements allow relatively unfettered access to the all-cargo flight deck during flight operations,” DePete added. “ALPA encourages Congress to pass this important bipartisan bill to mandate hardened cockpit doors on all-cargo airliners and close the gap in security for all-cargo pilots.”

This article was originally published in the June 2020 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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