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FAA Has Added Security to Increase Safety on Airliners
Aired July 30, 2003 - 19:16 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Besides government efforts to improve safety, many changes were made aboard airplanes and in airports after the September 11 attacks. We're safer as a result. No doubt about it.
But are we safe enough? That's the question.
Patty Davis now takes a look.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a dead bolt.
PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the door the FAA is counting on to prevent another terrorist hijacking.
JOHN HICKEY, FAA: It's intended to prevent unwanted intrusion in the door and some level of ballistic protection, small arms, grenade, et cetera.
DAVIS: Strengthened cockpit doors, this one with steel, some with titanium, are on all commercial jets, ordered put in place after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Behind those doors, pilots have new orders. Never open the door if there's a crisis, even if hijackers are threatening to kill.
DUANE WOERTH, AIRLINE PILOTS ASSN: Drama in the back of the airplane, they know what that means. That means the only way to save everyone, secure the door, get down as fast as you can, no other questions are asked. We're going to save the airplane.
DAVIS: Most experts say security is much improved on board commercial jets, but that holes still exist. Some worry hijackers could rush the cockpit as pilots come out to use the rest room.
MICHAEL BOYD, AVIATION CONSULTANT: Those doors do open and close during flight; you can't get around that. And as a result of that could someone get in there? Yes, very possibly.
DAVIS: Flight attendants are now trained to protect the cockpit with their carts when the pilot leaves. But they complain they still haven't been given enough training to protect themselves and passengers.
Still, the Transportation Security Administration insists layers of security, including armed pilots, air marshals, and thousands of federal screeners, have cut the risk.
ROBERT JOHNSON, TSA: We wake up every day to an intelligence briefing that tells us the threat today is as real as it was on 9/11. We are monitoring that information, determining what's credible, and responding in an appropriate fashion.
DAVIS: As for the latest warning, terrorists may be planning more hijackings, the TSA has alerted airports and airlines, but the agency admits its efforts are simply a filter, not a guarantee.
COOPER: Patty Davis, thanks.
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