Release #: 21.4
July 23, 2021

ALPA Applauds Legislation Requiring Reinforced Flight Deck Doors on All-Cargo Aircraft

McLEAN, VA—The world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today applauded Rep. Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for introducing legislation (H.R. 4598) that would require the installation of intrusion-resistant cockpit doors (IRCD) on aircraft used in all-cargo airline operations. The Cargo Flight Deck Security Act of 2021 is an important step toward the establishment of one level of security for both passenger and all-cargo flight operations.

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

After 9/11, Congress mandated hardened flight deck doors on commercial airliners. Unfortunately, the only all-cargo aircraft included were those that had flight deck doors at that time. The majority of all-cargo aircraft were not equipped with doors, and virtually all cargo aircraft manufactured since are not equipped with the hardened flight deck door.

One example of a critical threat that an IRCD would help mitigate is found on all-cargo flights that transport large animals. During these operations, animal handlers are often on board and carry lethal animal tranquilizers. These individuals, who are not airline employees, are seated directly behind the pilots and are not required to meet the same security background checks as airline crew members with access to an aircraft flight deck. Without a door separating them, these individuals continue to have access to the flight deck and pilots during flight.

“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 cargo flight deck during flight operations,” said DePete. “ALPA encourages Congress to pass this important bipartisan bill to mandate hardened flight deck doors on all-cargo airliners and close the gap in aviation security loopholes for cargo pilots.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or