APSA was formed by professional airline pilots from every major airline to provide expert guidance to policymakers to maximize resources and minimize expenditures in building a robust aviation security system. Our core consultant group now includes pilots, flight attendants, air marshals, attorneys, police psychologists, intelligence experts, and security specialists.
APSA was instrumental in the implementation of the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act, passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Congress to give professional pilots the tools they need to defend against terrorist attacks.
Unfortunately, years after Congress ordered the Transportation Security Administration to cross-train pilots as federal officers, a reluctant TSA has succeeded in training only a small percentage of our airline pilot corps. The cockpits of the vast majority of our airliners remain completely defenseless.
TSA bureaucrats have disqualified as “unfit” hundreds of pilots who are former federal agents, police officers, firearms instructors and military officers. 50,000 previously enthusiastic volunteers have changed their minds about stepping forward in the face of unsafe and onerous operating procedures, completely foreign to other law enforcement officers.
Given our $12 Billion airport security system has been easily breached hundreds of times by rank amateurs or unintentional passengers, and security testing reveals weapons cannot be detected up to 95% of the time, we critically need a last line of defense against future attacks.
The Federal Air Marshal Service reportedly protects only the very smallest fraction of commercial airline flights at a cost of roughly $700 million dollars per year. Properly managed, the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program could protect 100% of our nation’s airline flights at an annualized cost of only $29 million per year. In other words, by paying 4% more money, we could protect every flight in the country. In a world of scarce security resources, that seems like a pretty good use of our money.
APSA has argued for nothing more than utilizing standard federal law enforcement procedure in the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. By passing new legislation mandating accountability in the applications process, standard operating protocols, standard credentialing, and improved international flight protection, we can dramatically improve airline security at almost no cost to the American taxpayer. We look forward to working with your office to make this vision a reality.