Arming Flight Crews Against Terrorist Acts: Hearing before the Aviation Subcommittee, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, United States House of Representatives One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, May 2, 2002 [open pdf - 237KB]
The purpose of this hearing is to discuss issues associated with providing firearms and/or less-than-lethal weapons to flight crews for the purpose of defending aircraft against terrorist acts. Under section 126 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (P.L. 107-71), the Secretary of Transportation, with the approval of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, may authorize members of a flight crew to carry less-than-lethal weapons in the interest of avoiding air piracy. TASERs have not been cleared for use on commercial aircraft. However, United Airlines has purchased several hundred M-26 TASER guns and intends to install them in lockboxes in the cockpits of all their planes. Several issues require more attention before TASERs can be approved for use on an aircraft in flight. Under section 128 of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (P.L. 107-71), a pilot of a commercial air carrier may carry an approved firearm while operating an aircraft if he receives approval from the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security and his employer, and he has received proper training. The Transportation Security Administration has begun discussions on this issue with pilots groups, airlines and other interested parties; however, to date, no pilot has received approval to carry a firearm. Statements include those of Sarah V. Hart, Stephen A. Luckey, and Hank Krakowski.