FAA proposes secondary physical flight deck barrier on commercial flights

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a rule that would require certain commercial aircraft in the US to install a secondary physical barrier on flight decks. 

The additional barrier would protect flight decks from unauthorized intrusions when the flight deck door is open, the FAA said. 

“Flight crews keep us safe when we travel to visit loved ones, explore new places and conduct business. They, too, deserve to be protected, and this rulemaking is an important step forward,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

Based on the FAA unruly passengers data, during 2021 alone there were a total of 5,981 reports of unruly passengers. Although these incidents have declined after mask mandates in the US were suspended, the FAA still has a zero-tolerance stance on dangerous passenger behavior.

Unruly passengers: is the spike in cases affecting the well-being

chart from FAA

In 2021, the Biden Administration added the secondary flight deck barrier to its priority rulemaking list. In 2019 and 2020, the FAA worked with aircraft manufacturers, labor partners and others to gather recommendations included in the proposal.

The proposal, signed on July 27, 2022, said that section 336, “Secondary Cockpit Barriers,” of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Public Law 115-254 (Oct. 5, 2018), directs the Administrator of the FAA to issue an order requiring installation of a secondary flightdeck barrier on “each new aircraft that is manufactured for delivery to a passenger air carrier in the United States operating under the provisions of part 121 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations”. 

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule once it is published in the Federal Register.


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