Revisiting Pilots with Guns

As the number of armed pilots aboard U.S. jetliners has steadily expanded in recent years, the program is showing signs of growing pains. Pilots and their labor groups complain about a lack of supervision and the difficulty in finding time to participate in training courses.

Worried that pilots' handgun skills may be eroding, federal security officials are launching a refresher training program next month. Armed pilots must attend a two-day mandatory course at a training facility near Atlantic City three to five years after getting their guns. Some pilots have already taken prototype refresher courses that are being evaluated by authorities, said officials with the Federal Air Marshal Service, which runs the program. . . .

When the program began, union officials said as many as 30,000 pilots would eventually carry firearms in cockpits. The number of armed pilots is well short of that number, but there are now more armed pilots than there are federal air marshals, according to sources familiar with the program.

I don't know who in the unions were claiming that the program would produce 30,000 armed pilots (I for one wrote several op-eds criticizing the program) and all the union people I knew were unhappy with it. What I think that the Washington Post is confusing is the number of pilots who expressed interest in carrying a gun and the number who were willing to put up with the bizarre rules required by the government.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home