Fitzpatrick pushing airlines for greater pilot protections

A congressman from Bucks County has a plan for tighter security in airplanes.

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick chose to announce his bill at the Garden of Reflection, a 9/11 memorial in Yardley. The legislation would mandate that pilot’s cabins have a second security barrier to guard against hijackings.

“The cockpit door itself is fortified, as it should be,” he said. “The secondary barrier could be a gate, wire mesh or chain, that would, when the cockpit barrier door itself is open, slow anybody’s ability to get through there.”

Ellen Saracini, whose husband, Victor, was captain of one of the planes that was flown into the World Trade Center, joined Fitzpatrick for the announcement. Saracini believes the secondary barrier is necessary to protect pilots and passengers.

“We know what happened on Sept. 11, we don’t have to wonder what could happen,” she said. “We just have to make sure that threat that is real is never repeated again.”

Fitzpatrick says he contacted the airlines directly requesting the change and they didn’t give him a satisfactory response. So that’s why he’s moving forward with legislation.

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