Congressmen to TSA: Stop Obstructing Commonsense Airline Security

Apr 1, 2004
Press Release
Wilson, Bunning Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Armed Pilots Program
Today, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) introduced the Cockpit Security Technical Corrections and Improvements Act, bipartisan legislation that will improve the existing Federal Flight Deck Officers Program administered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The bill has already garnered 10 original cosponsors in the House and Senator Bunning’s bill is cosponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). “Two years ago, Congress sent a clear message by a vote of 310-113 to TSA to arm America’s pilots,” said Congressman Wilson. “Since that time, less than 1% of the 40,000 pilots that signed up to participate have been trained. This is absolutely unacceptable, and our bill seeks to make the adjustments necessary to secure our skies against future acts of terrorism.” “Americans understand that it is commonsense that pilots be armed to provide a last line of defense against terrorists. Yet, it seems TSA has used bureaucratic red-tape to prevent the program from being successful. This must end now. The great majority of commercial pilots are professionals who are former military or law enforcement personnel with years of experience handling weapons. They are surely qualified to defend themselves and their passengers against possible mid-air attacks.” “We trust pilots with our lives to fly jets, surely we can trust them to be armed to protect themselves and their passengers,” explained Congressman Wilson. “I want to personally thank Senator Bunning for his continued leadership in ensuring that Americans can fly safely. I am proud to join him today, and I urge all of my colleagues to join us and cosponsor this important bill. Americans were promised a widespread armed pilots program to deter terrorism, and we will continue to push this issue until that promise is fulfilled,” said Congressman Wilson. ###