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pilots should be prohibited from...

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Member 9.6 mile high club
Jul 15, 2002
WASHINGTON — The head of a key Senate committee reiterated his opposition yesterday to a bill that would allow the nation’s airline pilots to carry guns.

Sen. Ernest Hollings, head of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said that instead of guns, pilots should be prohibited from opening cockpit doors in flight.

“The door has got to be fixed — impenetrable — and never opened in flight,” said Hollings, D-S.C., at the beginning of yesterday’s hearing on airline security. “Once that’s fixed, we’ve solved the problem of an airliner flying into the Empire State Building. We’ve solved the problem of guns in the cockpit.”

But those who favor arming the pilots hope the Transportation Department’s decision to reconsider its opposition to the idea will boost its chances in the Senate.

Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said earlier this week that he had asked the incoming head of the Transportation Security Administration, retired Coast Guard Adm. James Loy, to take a new look at the issue. The review follows an overwhelming House vote earlier this month to allow commercial pilots to carry guns.

“What the House did and the statement of Mr. Mineta gives it new energy,” Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., a sponsor of the Senate legislation.

Mineta told the Senate committee yesterday that the $3.85 billion for the TSA included in the anti-terrorism spending bill isn’t enough to allow the agency to hire all the screeners and buy all of the machines necessary to meet deadlines for improving airline security.

“The amount of money Congress has approved simply will not support the mandate and timetable for aviation security that Congress set last fall,” Mineta said. “Congress has given us a strict and inflexible mandate, and insufficient funds to meet it.” He said the agency needs an additional $1 billion.

Mineta said that without enough money, he can still meet a Nov. 19 deadline for employing a federal work force to screen passengers and a Dec. 31 deadline for inspecting all checked bags for explosives, but lines will be longer at airports.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the administration would meet the congressional deadlines, but said some lawmakers are having second thoughts.

“There’s a growing concern in the Congress, though, about whether or not they were being realistic in originally assigning the deadlines they did, given the resources and the mandates that they’ve imposed on the administration,” Fleischer said.

To date, only six of 429 commercial airports have all of their checkpoints staffed by federal employees: Baltimore; Louisville, Ky.; Mobile, Ala.; Chicopee and Bedford, Mass.; and Kalamazoo, Mich. In addition, some of the checkpoints at New York’s Kennedy Airport are staffed by federal screeners.

Despite the continued opposition to arming pilots by Hollings, the committee chairman, Burns said the hearing gives proponents another opportunity to get the bill to the Senate floor.

The Senate bill’s chief sponsor, New Hampshire Republican Robert Smith, may not wait. Smith has discussed offering the bill as an amendment to other legislation, such as the bill creating a Homeland Security Department or the measure funding transportation.

Pilots have been visiting senators’ offices on Capitol Hill, answering questions and seeking support.

“It’s a matter of seeing us face to face and knowing we are on the front lines,” said American Airlines Capt. Linda Pauwells, a member of the Allied Pilots Association

Some remind me again why I hate politicians so much.:mad:
Lets lock these morons in a box behind a steel door for 12 hrs and see how they like it... funny how these guys can armchair speculate and claim to know the solution to everything...

Politicians don't know jack about the real world... they just know how they think things should be, as impractical as that may be.
Perhaps they should pass legislation prohibiting terrorists from breaching the door. That should solve everything...
Would if you had to take a sh!t?? You're locked in. I'ld like to take a sh!t on that guy's front porch! What a moron.
Even if pilots did keep the door locked for the entire duration. There is no such thing as an impenetrable door. If a door were impenetrable, it wouldn't serve its function very well.
One more minor point-

If we happen to be involved in an accident, how are rescue crews going to get in to the flight crew? An impenatrable door will certainly make it more likely that crew members will be trapped in the cockpit. That worries me the most about all these plans that our elected officials have come up with.

Not to mention the occassional need to deal with phisiological issues.
Maybe the Senate should be locked up so they won't be a target.

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