May 18, 2005
ALPA Commends U.S. House Action to Enhance FFDO Program
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Capt. Duane Woerth, President of the Air Line Pilots Association, issued the following statement in response to an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Bill (H.R. 1817), which Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rep. John Mica (R-FL) introduced today to enhance the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) Program. The House of Representatives accepted the amendment in a voice vote.
"The Air Line Pilots Association commends Rep. Peter DeFazio and Rep. John Mica for seizing the opportunity to introduce this amendment, which is designed to significantly enhance the FFDO program.
"The DeFazio-Mica amendment would create a test program to allow FFDOs to transport their weapons on their person rather than in a lockbox, establish an appeals process for any FFDO whose status the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revokes, require that the TSA issue badges to FFDOs, require that the TSA give eligible pilots more flexibility on training dates and improved access to training facilities, and require qualification standards for facilities at which FFDOs can receive re-qualification and recurrent training.
"ALPA worked closely with the amendment sponsors, and if it becomes law, it will help ensure that the remarkable success of the federal program that qualifies screened, trained, and deputized pilots to carry a firearm continues to grow in the future.
"The FFDO program assures all who fly another layer of protection against terrorism, and the action today by Rep. DeFazio and Rep. Mica is an extremely important step forward. Now, all of Congress must act to ensure that the improvements become a reality."
ALPA, chartered by the AFL-CIO in 1931, is the union that represents 64,000 airline pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Its website is at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Linda Shotwell (703) 481-4440