Release #: 21.50
August 19, 2021

ALPA Demands FAA Issue Long-Overdue Secondary Barrier Rule

Congressional Mandate Has Not Been Fulfilled After Years of FAA Delay

MCLEAN, Va.— As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, is once again imploring transportation officials to carry out the will of Congress and provide greater security for the flying public by issuing a final secondary flight deck barrier regulation before September 11, 2021.

In a recent letter to Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, ALPA noted that at a time of increased passenger disruptions, assaults on frontline aviation workers, and heightened international security concerns rooted in tense geopolitical shifts, including the recent hostile regime change in Afghanistan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to ignore a vulnerability that jeopardizes the security of passengers and flight crews on U.S. airliners.

“We learned on 9/11 the vulnerability of the flight deck and are being reminded almost daily that the threats persists despite the FAA’s clear direction from Congress to address it. The FAA’s inaction is particularly egregious considering Congress mandated this nearly three years ago,” wrote Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.

Secondary barriers are a cost-efficient, essential security layer that protect the flight deck from hijacking attempts or other potential breaches as a way to further enhance aviation security. Congress has mandated that the FAA issue a rule requiring the installation of secondary barriers on passenger aircraft. However, the FAA continues to stall and create unnecessary distractions which have further delayed this much-needed aviation safety and security enhancement.

“For nearly 20 years, ALPA has been committed in ensuring that the legacy of all who lost their lives or were harmed on September 11, 2001, is that of a safer and more secure U.S. air transportation system. As we prepare to mark two decades since these attacks, it remains deeply concerning and frustrating that the FAA has not followed the law and continues to delay a final rule to require secondary barriers. ALPA once again calls for the FAA to issue a regulation that would require all newly manufactured passenger aircraft to be equipped with secondary flight deck barriers before they enter service, and as we have for decades, ALPA stands willing and able to assist in implementing this rule immediately,” added DePete. 

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 60,000 pilots at 36 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or