The very real threats experienced by airliners and airports have led to stepped-up efforts towards maintaining airport security. While all this is being done to ensure the safety of the greater majority, there are some policies and practices that are viewed as simply “too much”. But then again, is there such a thing as “too much” when safety and security is concerned?
According to a feature on The Christian Science Monitor, U.S. officials are making an effort to respond to resistance that they have received regarding airport security measures, which have been described as “personally intrusive” by some, especially by those who fly on commercial airlines.
Starting in 2011, airline pilots will no longer be subjected to full-body pat downs, or required to go through scanners. They will instead submit their airline-issued ID checked by a computer.
John Pistole, chief of the Transportation Security Administration, told Bloomberg News: “This one seemed to jump out as a common-sense issue… Why don’t we trust pilots who are literally in charge of the aircraft?”
Apparently this is something that commercial air pilots have been trying to point out for years.
The nearly 53,000 pilots flying for 38 U.S. and Canadian airlines are represented by the Airline Pilots Association, International (ALPA). ALPA noted that its members “are trustworthy by definition of their employment and responsibilities.”
In a statement issued recently, the ALPA said that pilots “have been subjected to extensive FBI background checks and thousands are deputized as Federal Flight Deck Officers by the TSA who carry and are authorized to use lethal force while on duty to defend the cockpit from a terrorist threat… Screening airline pilots for the possession of threat objects does not enhance security because pilots have the safety of their passengers and aircraft in their hands on every flight.”