Release #: 19.37
October 09, 2019

ALPA Blasts FAA for Failure to Implement Secondary Flight Deck Barriers

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, today blasted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its failure to meet a crucial deadline to enhance aviation safety and security. In last year’s FAA reauthorization, Congress mandated that the agency issue a rule by October 5, 2019 to require the installation of secondary flight deck barriers on all new passenger aircraft. However, instead of issuing the final rule as intended, the FAA created an unnecessary working group this summer to “study” the issue, which will further delay this much-needed aviation safety and security enhancement.

“ALPA is deeply disappointed in the FAA’s blatant stalling on this important issue.  Airline pilots have been advocating for this safe, cost-effective, and efficient way to protect the flight deck, and we were pleased last year when Congress passed a law mandating the installation of these barriers. By dragging their feet and wasting resources, the FAA has thumbed its nose at Congress, threatened the flying public, disrespected pilots, and has done the bidding of special interests. It’s time to implement the law today,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.

Secondary flight deck barriers create a physical barricade to prevent hostile individuals from reaching the flight deck during the door transition period and provide the necessary security to ensure the flight deck remains secure at all times. Last month, the FAA highlighted the need for such protective measures by issuing a special warning to airlines for increased vigilance while conducting flight deck door opening procedures in flight.

“Action on secondary barriers is needed now, not many months or even years from now, and protection protocols need to be strengthened. That is precisely what secondary barriers are designed to do. Issuing the final rule today would be strong way for Administrator Steve Dickson to begin his tenure of overseeing the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. The FAA should seize the opportunity to facilitate the advancement of safety and security rather than being a barrier to implementing this critical mandate,” added Capt. DePete