Airplanes May Soon Get Second Flight Deck Barrier

Airplanes May Soon Get Second Flight Deck Barrier

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Regulators in the United States may soon require commercial aircraft to have a second barrier to get into the flight deck. Is this a sensible development that will make flying safer, or unnecessary and a step too far?

FAA proposes requiring second flight deck door

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has today announced a proposal that would require commercial airplanes in the United States to have a second barrier to get into the flight deck. With this, aircraft manufacturers would have to install a second barrier, though it would only apply to newly produced planes, starting two years after the rules go into effect.

This was actually proposed several years back — the FAA was supposed to have adopted this rule by 2019 under a 2018 federal law, but the agency hasn’t acted until now.

Of course the terrorist attacks of 9/11 changed aviation forever. Since 9/11, we’ve seen the introduction of reinforced cockpit doors, which realistically can’t be broken into.

This new law is intended to address situations where one of the pilots has to leave the cockpit (whether to go to the bathroom, go on break, etc.). Currently in these situations, a flight attendant will simply block the aisle with a cart while the door is open.

FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen has said that “each additional layer of safety matters,” and that “protecting flight crews helps keep our system the safest in the world.”

Meanwhile House Transportation Committee Chair Peter DeFazio said the following in 2019, when questioning the FAA’s delay to act:

“Today, at most airlines, the only line of defense of the cockpit when a pilot needs to exit during flight is an improvised procedure involving flight attendants and beverage carts. This is not, and cannot be, a permanent solution.”

So, how would this second cockpit barrier work? Let’s use the below picture of the front of an American A321neo cabin as an example. It’s my understanding that right in front of the bulkhead there would be a second door that could essentially just “fold” out as needed — it would be open for most of the flight, and would only close when the cockpit needs to be accessed.

The front of the Airbus A321neo cabin

Is a second cockpit barrier really necessary?

It goes without saying that everything should be done to make aviation as safe as possible. That being said, this seems like a solution that doesn’t actually solve a whole lot. How many people have successfully broken into a cockpit of a commercial airplane in the 20+ years since 9/11? I think zero globally, but someone correct me if I’m wrong.

That comes down to multiple factors:

  • It comes down to reinforced cockpit doors, which mean that you can’t break into cockpits
  • It comes down to the mentality around hijackings having changed; previously if someone threatened an airline employee with a weapon, they’d typically let them into the cockpit, while that wouldn’t happen in a post-9/11 world
  • Passengers wouldn’t allow a hijacking to happen; in the past they would have probably cooperated with hijackers, thinking that would be the solution that leads to the least damage, while I think that mindset has changed post-9/11

Let’s talk about another aspect of the reinforced cockpit door. How many planes have crashed in the past decade due to one pilot being locked out of the cockpit and not being able to get back in?

To me pilot mental health and one person in a cockpit presents a much bigger risk to aviation than adding a second cockpit door. Admittedly this is more of a global problem than a US problem — at least US airlines are required to always have two people in the cockpit, which is why a flight attendant always has to enter the cockpit when a pilot leaves. This doesn’t apply to foreign airlines flying to the US, though.

I’m much more concerned about the actions of pilots

Bottom line

The FAA is proposing that commercial airplanes soon be required to have a second cockpit barrier, which would likely come in the form of a second door that extends out when the cockpit door needs to open. This would apply to newly built planes starting two years after the law is enacted.

On the one hand, I guess this can’t hurt, other than the cost. On the other hand, this seems to address what I’d consider to be an absolutely tiny risk.

What do you think — is a second cockpit barrier on commercial airplanes really necessary?

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  1. Adam Goldberg Guest

    What about plane manufacturers adding a lavoratory within the cockpit?
    Then you have complete safety as the pilots wouldn't need to leave the cockpit.
    Yes that might sound crazy or expensive but just an idea.

  2. Skylash Guest

    I think this can be useful not only for "more safety" but also as a way to allow the FAs to continue to do other tasks other than have to stare down the aisle while a pilot is out of the cockpit.

    I imagine the barrier will be made of aluminum/titanium and have holes for transparency, kind of like those SQ Suites Class doors.

    On the other hand, if only required on newer planes, and...

    I think this can be useful not only for "more safety" but also as a way to allow the FAs to continue to do other tasks other than have to stare down the aisle while a pilot is out of the cockpit.

    I imagine the barrier will be made of aluminum/titanium and have holes for transparency, kind of like those SQ Suites Class doors.

    On the other hand, if only required on newer planes, and the current procedure is adequate, seems unnecessary.

    What about those older planes that have pilots rest in a First/Business class seat rather than in a secure area?

  3. Carrie Member

    It is concerning that the focus of the commentary is on the issue of a second door rather than the need for airlines to encourage pilots to admit to struggling with their mental health. If airlines supported their pilots without prejudice or judgement and ensured the support was unqualified, I would feel much safer. It would be naive to suggest that this would prevent all 'pilot incidents' but it would be a welcomed beginning.

  4. TOGA LK Guest

    Better yet, just move the flight deck door back so I don’t have to call for a FA to come up when I have to hit the head.

  5. David Tam Guest

    Better to have a well trained security guard like Israel is having. And always have 2 person in the cockpit.

    Better to pay more than die early.

  6. James Guest

    Am not in favor of it. Assuming the door goes in the same place they currently place the beverage cart, the door will block passenger access to the 2 exits in the front of a plane. I don't like the idea of a locked door separating me from the nearest exit.

  7. Me Guest

    Why dont they install a mini bathroom for the pilots? How about a reversible mini door so they can get food?

  8. TJB Guest

    Writing as a retired airline pilot and one who now enjoys travelling as a passenger, there is a simple solution to all of this - a lavatory in the cockpit. That would address both the problem of needing to open the cockpit door in flight and having a pilot locked out of the flight deck. It would also eliminate the need for flight attendants to take time away from their duties to supervise bathroom visits....

    Writing as a retired airline pilot and one who now enjoys travelling as a passenger, there is a simple solution to all of this - a lavatory in the cockpit. That would address both the problem of needing to open the cockpit door in flight and having a pilot locked out of the flight deck. It would also eliminate the need for flight attendants to take time away from their duties to supervise bathroom visits. There is no downside to this solution outside the loss of a minimal amount of space in the aircraft.

    1. Mike Hunt Guest

      They should put the toilet in the seat

      And install a coffee machine with a cover inside the cockpit

    2. Joseph Cotler Guest

      Correct. Washroom in the cockpit. Problems solved.

  9. Kt Guest

    1:Have an external separate door for the cockpit therefore no door in the cabin
    2: the cockpit would have its own bathroom and sleeping quarter's
    3; No one will ever see the pilots
    4: Better than FAA bureaucratic fecklessness

    1. Mitch Guest

      It's called security theater, plain and simple. For example just got on a plane in Rome, bound to the USA. Did not have to go through any of the belt, shoes, 3oz if liquid, body scan nonsense. In other words a determined hijacker wished to circumvent the USA domestic security theater they can just board a US bound plane overseas, and enter backstage.

  10. Aharon Guest

    El Al has had a second door forever and thorough screening of pilots. I find it perfect and it makes me feel safer.

  11. S. Mayberry Guest

    I've read on the transatlantic flight's they must have an additional first officer , or Captain on board ..
    ( Relieving , as one gets some sleep . But only on flight's over 12 hour's )
    I'm with you .. mental health is more concerning - I believe.. maybe there is a way for something similar, or perhaps code sensitive passcodes by each , to block abrupt the auto-pilot changes ..
    ( I have no idea.. just sort of pondering)

  12. Jason Guest

    I can tell as a flight attendant from the inside, these secondary barriers are absolutely needed. This should have been done September 12th, 2001, not 21 years later. Anyone who thinks that a beverage cart and the other procedures currently in place are sufficient just because there hasn’t been another incident YET are fooling themselves. From my understanding United added a secondary barrier on some aircraft and was in the process of planning to standardize...

    I can tell as a flight attendant from the inside, these secondary barriers are absolutely needed. This should have been done September 12th, 2001, not 21 years later. Anyone who thinks that a beverage cart and the other procedures currently in place are sufficient just because there hasn’t been another incident YET are fooling themselves. From my understanding United added a secondary barrier on some aircraft and was in the process of planning to standardize them on all aircraft when the Continental management came in with the merger and did away with them. We have to change our mindset and spend the necessary money on security. A beverage cart doesn’t cut it. To the poster who said that enhanced restrictions to cockpit access, the barriers that United installed did not lock. It was a cargo net that was purposely installed to take maybe 30 extra seconds to put up and take down. This would allow the pilots to shut the cockpit door during an attempted breech. It would not have contributed to either of the events that he mentioned.

  13. Raif Tawakol M.D. Guest

    Second door is “overkill” for a problem that has had zero loss in the recent 10 years

    Need common sense to prevail

  14. Ricocadola Guest

    Well. In Europe and Asia, the pilot flying could've just called number 1 to the flight deck and close the door while one of the pilot is not around the cockpit. That is the safer solution we have instead of keep the cockpit doors like most of the US airlines. Adding more layers is just a hassle for the crew and maintenance whilst adding more weight to the aircraft. Weight matters for airlines.

  15. Sidonie Guest

    Where are the times when the door to the cockpit had been open and a bunch of the excited kids peeked through at the pilots and asked a lot of the questions?

  16. greg Guest

    Arm all pilots. Problem solved.

    1. chris Guest

      Do you understand how stupid that would be? So you want a rogue pilot that is also armed? If locked out of the cockipit, will the other pilot mcgyver his way through the door by shooting parts of it? Do you not think they are bulletproof?

  17. CommonSense Guest

    Just another idiotic measure that will have nothing but negative affects on air travel just like everything the FAA and the TSA do in the name of security. I am sure that they will implement a "Door Two Fee" of $12 per ticket from now until the end of time to supposedly pay for this useless measure and to line someone's pockets as well.

  18. Sean Guest

    Waste of money! This from an airline pilot.....

  19. Euro Aviation Guest

    Statistics relies on past events. They do not preclude anything.

  20. Robert Guest

    I think the second door location is a great idea. I agree that the reinforced cockpit door is great but to trust a cart and FA to block the way when the cockpit door is open during flight is silly. Put in another door, let the pilots have a chance to stand for a few minutes. Whenever the cockpit had both pilots and the door is locked then leave the second door open. I'm unsure why someone would think this is a bad or unnecessary idea

    1. CommonSense Guest

      Because we have an IQ above our shoe size that allows us to think past irrational fears and ignorance to see the whole picture.

  21. Visionist Guest

    The front lavatory is right next to the cockpit door; simply design this lavatory door so it can hinge into two positions; the standard position enclosing the lavatory proper, for passengers & flight attendants, and a second position transverse to the cabin, creating a tiny cubicle that ensures only pilots can access the lavatory.

  22. T- Guest

    With the THOUSANDS OF GUNS confiscated (many loaded) in America there are bound to be some that get through security/TSA. This not to mention all of the live rounds, knives & many more weapons in people's carry-ons. Check out the numbers. They are shocking.

    1. JH Guest

      And yet we have almost no incidents of weapons being used on planes.

      Inanimate objects don't hijack planes/hurt people...people do.

  23. frrp Member

    Why does the US have the nonsense about taking shoes off when the rest of the world doesnt? And why after 20 years is there still a 100ml restriction on liquid.

    1. T- Guest

      Some years ago a guy tried to light a liquid bomb inside his shoe. He had a hard time lighting it & this drew attention. They stopped the guy. Fortunately.

    2. Steve S. Guest

      No, there was an alleged plot to do this that was uncovered in 2006. That plot never came to fruition, and whatever the details were just resulted in an arbitrary liquid size limit, at least as far as the United States is concerned.

      Richard Reid did not have liquid explosives in his shoes. He had PETN explosive with a TATP detonator and a black powder fuse masquerading as a shoelace. No electronics or metal...

      No, there was an alleged plot to do this that was uncovered in 2006. That plot never came to fruition, and whatever the details were just resulted in an arbitrary liquid size limit, at least as far as the United States is concerned.

      Richard Reid did not have liquid explosives in his shoes. He had PETN explosive with a TATP detonator and a black powder fuse masquerading as a shoelace. No electronics or metal blasting cap to detect, so it got him through security. TATP is profoundly unstable, and can't be reliably stabilized. He should have just stomped his shoes on the wall.

      It's somewhat surprising he did not blow his feet off walking through the airport until you realize his shoes were soaked with perspiration and probably rain, since he failed to board his first flight and had to wait 24 hours.

      TATP and PETN are also reported as being difficult for bomb sniffing equipment to detect.

  24. Tony N Guest

    Definitely not. We don't need to isolate the flight deck. The pilots need to be accessible on case of an emergency in the cabin or in the flight deck itself. Such as a suicidal or homicidal pilot.

  25. Alexander Graham Bell Guest

    When one door closes, another one opens

  26. Max Guest

    The leading theory on the Malaysia Airlines flight is not the pilot.

    1. T- Guest

      Some years ago a guy tried to light a liquid bomb inside his shoe. He had a hard time lighting it & this drew attention. They stopped the guy. Fortunately.

  27. Rob Guest

    I am a Captain at a US airline. I disagree with this requirement.

    Go fly in Europe on a "domestic" EU flight. The doors are not secured in any manner. I recently was a passenger upon an Air France flight and an elderly lady accidentally opened the flight deck door looking for the lavatory.

    They have not been victim of terrorist attack.

  28. warren trout Guest

    Some airlines already have secondary barriers on some aircraft. Flight attendants DO use it correctly. The cost are minimal - two pieces of steel sides and a few cables making a web.

    Some of your need to stop trying to shoot it down. Many of the comment objections are invalid

  29. YULtide Gold

    What we really need is a door between economy and business class to keep Y pax from using the J lav and also stop self-upgraders.

    1. Airfarer Gold

      JAL used to have that years ago. Was a solid door too.

  30. JorgeGeorge Paez Guest

    Better to arm and reinforce the beverage cart?

  31. Callie Guest

    What if the new proposed door means the main cockpit door doesn't lock when the secondary door is locked? This would prevent one pilot from locking out the other. They would both be only behind the secondary door.

  32. Alex Guest

    I don't think it's necessary but if they want to put two doors in close proximity to each other, I don't see it as a problem. I don't really care how many doors pilots have.

    But a door separating passengers from emergency exit is hopefully something that will not happen.

  33. AC Guest

    Am I the only one that thinks FAs on some flights will close the door just to have privacy while they sit and gossip vs actually working? I recognize there are a lot of great FAs (the vast majority I've run into in my almost 40 years of flying) but some crews seem to be hell bent on doing as little as possible and this would facilitate that. The only thing that would block their...

    Am I the only one that thinks FAs on some flights will close the door just to have privacy while they sit and gossip vs actually working? I recognize there are a lot of great FAs (the vast majority I've run into in my almost 40 years of flying) but some crews seem to be hell bent on doing as little as possible and this would facilitate that. The only thing that would block their plan in it is in the front with first/business class (neither term really applies to US domestic flights but you know what I mean) and the call button would be used more if needed to get them to work.

    BTW - I don't think this is needed. If someone wanted to rush the cart blocking the aisle wouldn't they just jump the half height "door" pictured? Of course it could be a full sized door which would make the FAs even more tempted to leave it closed as much as possible. In addition to the reinforced cockpit door you have the cart barrier, sky marshalls (I know not on every flight) and, as noted, a changed passenger mindset. There have been numerous cases of passengers helping FAs subdue people trying to bang on the door or enter the cockpit. Hopefully there are hearings and the FAA takes input from airlines instead of just rubber stamping this proposal.

  34. stogieguy7 Diamond

    Definitely a stupid idea, for the reasons stated in the article (post 9/11 world, proliferation of suicidal/homicidal mental illness, it's extraneous anyhow). A typical government waste of other people's money,

  35. Rony Guest

    All Israeli airlines have this double door setup and process, and it very effective. The cubicle formed by the second door is just enough for the pilot/co-pilot to exit the cockpit and use the toilet or access the passenger deck. It is by no means big enough for flight attendants to turn it into a lounge, and play with their phones.
    I cannot see any downside to extra security.
    Initially, airbags, seatbelts, SRS,...

    All Israeli airlines have this double door setup and process, and it very effective. The cubicle formed by the second door is just enough for the pilot/co-pilot to exit the cockpit and use the toilet or access the passenger deck. It is by no means big enough for flight attendants to turn it into a lounge, and play with their phones.
    I cannot see any downside to extra security.
    Initially, airbags, seatbelts, SRS, sideview mirrors, etc, were also seen as needless measures.

    1. David Diamond

      You can’t see any downsides despite the post itself having told you exactly what the downsides are?

      All airlines in the world have reinforced doors and have been very effective as well (0 hijiackings).

    2. red_robbo Guest

      Other than mentioning the cost, I must have missed the bit about exactly what the downsides are.....

    3. Sarah Guest

      If there is additional cost, there must be a corresponding benefit.

      The second door costs more money. What is the additional benefit, please? There is no evidence to suggest that this second door will improve safety - no situation on the entire planet in the past 20 years that would have benefited from this second door.

      As far as I can tell, it is a move that panders to those who appreciate security...

      If there is additional cost, there must be a corresponding benefit.

      The second door costs more money. What is the additional benefit, please? There is no evidence to suggest that this second door will improve safety - no situation on the entire planet in the past 20 years that would have benefited from this second door.

      As far as I can tell, it is a move that panders to those who appreciate security theater without actually doing anything to improve safety. I like security, but security theater is expensive and pathetic.

  36. Donna Diamond

    Bad idea. There hasn’t been another 9/11. The fixes implemented in it’s wake have worked. In addition, following the Germanwings mass murder, further changes requiring two on the crew deck, at least for US Airlines, have been implemented (not sure LH changed its policies). It ain’t broke, so don’t fix it.

  37. Dch Guest

    God forbid any airline would give up one or two seat spaces,make the cockpit a little larger put a small rest room in it and the pilot would never have to leave it.

  38. Steve Guest

    The door mafia have definitely infiltrated the airline industry. Doors on first class cubicles, doors on new business class suites, now two doors for the cockpit. Hopefully we can have doors between all the other seats soon.

    1. Alex Guest

      Nah, no door mafia this time. It's pilots' unions. Think about it - pilots will need to open another door, that deserves new contract negotiation!

  39. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    When one pilot is out of the cockpit, a flight attendant must be in the cockpit. Right now, that is the "last line of defense."

    With all due respect to flight attendants, some of them just do not pose much of a physical threat to someone hellbent on intentionally crashing the plane. Maybe relaying on a flight attendant isn't a great idea.

    Simpler solutions:

    1. Go back to three-crew cockpits. It used to be the...

    When one pilot is out of the cockpit, a flight attendant must be in the cockpit. Right now, that is the "last line of defense."

    With all due respect to flight attendants, some of them just do not pose much of a physical threat to someone hellbent on intentionally crashing the plane. Maybe relaying on a flight attendant isn't a great idea.

    Simpler solutions:

    1. Go back to three-crew cockpits. It used to be the norm, before cost-cutting.
    2. Have at least one Air Marshall or some other designated security staff on every flight (side benefit: might help reduce passengers acting out to drive their social media "careers").
    3. Give loaded firearms to all cabin and cockpit crew, as well as top-level elite passengers riding in the first few rows. What could possibly go wrong? (This suggestions sponsored by the NRA).

    1. Alex Guest

      After reading through your arguments, I'm starting to like the second door concept..

    2. red_robbo Guest

      Forgive me if I'm wrong, but other than for the ultra longhaul flights, surely two-crew cockpits were introduced decades ago following advances in technology - not directly as a result of cost cutting.
      Also, my understanding is that roughly only 1 in 100 US airline operated flights currently have air marshals on board, so having at least one on every flight would almost certainly be cost prohibitive (and where would all these marshals be sourced from?)

  40. Chandan Bhat Gold

    Like others said this feels like a dumb solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    I'm curious, what the default door position would be, would it be closed? What happens in the case of an emergency? What happens if for example some pax decides to go to the galley during meal service or when no cabin crew are present in the area and decides to close the door and locks out all pax and crew...

    Like others said this feels like a dumb solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    I'm curious, what the default door position would be, would it be closed? What happens in the case of an emergency? What happens if for example some pax decides to go to the galley during meal service or when no cabin crew are present in the area and decides to close the door and locks out all pax and crew except for the pilots, what happens then? What happens if the same pax tries to open the fuselage door mid-flight? Who would stop the pax?

    This seems like it would create more problems than solve.

  41. WW Guest

    Bad idea. Remember EuroWings 9525...and possibly Helios 522

  42. Jerry Diamond

    The phrase "it can't hurt" is meaningless. It "wouldn't hurt" if all female passengers over the age of 47 were required to wear Mickey Mouse ears whenever the seat belt sign came on, but it wouldn't help either.

  43. Andy Diamond

    Definitely not. No barrier.

    Yes, the 2001 terrorist attacks may (but not more than “may”) have been facilitated by easy cockpit access. As you correctly state, there are at least four recent cases in which restricted cockpit access led to tragedy.

    I grew up with regular cockpit visits (yes, in flight). I also grew up with bullet proof glass in banks. Banks have meanswhile removed the armour and airlines have implemented it …

    Experience with...

    Definitely not. No barrier.

    Yes, the 2001 terrorist attacks may (but not more than “may”) have been facilitated by easy cockpit access. As you correctly state, there are at least four recent cases in which restricted cockpit access led to tragedy.

    I grew up with regular cockpit visits (yes, in flight). I also grew up with bullet proof glass in banks. Banks have meanswhile removed the armour and airlines have implemented it …

    Experience with recent hijacking of plane is: (a) there are very few, and (b) fellow pax and crew have absolutely zero tolerance and intervene harshly. They generally incapacitate and arrest hijackers (civil arrest is covered by many countries penal codes). The odds fortunately have turned against hijackers.

  44. Malc Member

    @Lucky -- Didn't you leave out EgyptAir Flight 990? I thought the First Officer had locked the captain out and dived the plane.

  45. Donato Guest

    Previous results are not necessarily a predictor of future results. I can see that this might prevent cockpit access while a crew member is exiting. IMHO placing a cart in the corridor is not as effective as a real door.
    In Italy I have seen many banks with a double door access for this reason.

  46. Evan Guest

    Actually, I understand where the FAA is coming from. In the many times I've witnessed pilots leave the cockpit for restroom breaks, etc., it's been pretty casual (ie. - cockpit door open for a period of time, pilot and F/A chatting when door is open, etc.).

    I read a lot of posts where people say certain things that are done (i.e. - liquids restrictions) or certain rules (such as this) are useless because they don't...

    Actually, I understand where the FAA is coming from. In the many times I've witnessed pilots leave the cockpit for restroom breaks, etc., it's been pretty casual (ie. - cockpit door open for a period of time, pilot and F/A chatting when door is open, etc.).

    I read a lot of posts where people say certain things that are done (i.e. - liquids restrictions) or certain rules (such as this) are useless because they don't prevent anything. Well, maybe there haven't been terrorist attacks on US soil since 9-11 because of what the government agencies ARE doing.

    In the end, I the bigger danger to the flying public is complacency. That's what a terrorist is looking for.

    1. David Diamond

      How many times have planes been hijacked because of that? Hijackings like 911 simply won’t happen because of random crew members not following protocol occasionally. Hijackers can’t count on getting lucky with crews on break, at exactly the moment they want, and not following protocol. Then there’s the complication of random marshals hidden on the flight as well.

      The fact is so many security measures (that are actually effective) have been added that these second...

      How many times have planes been hijacked because of that? Hijackings like 911 simply won’t happen because of random crew members not following protocol occasionally. Hijackers can’t count on getting lucky with crews on break, at exactly the moment they want, and not following protocol. Then there’s the complication of random marshals hidden on the flight as well.

      The fact is so many security measures (that are actually effective) have been added that these second barriers actually make it more dangerous, if there’s a rogue pilot.

    2. ted poco Guest

      Elected representatives required this change not the FAA.

    3. ted pocos Guest

      Elected representatives required this change not the FAA.

  47. RCB Guest

    As you said, this is a solution in search of a problem. We've had zero incidences since the reinforced doors were put in place, so the system is working.

    Also, we ALL know that flight attendants are going to use that second door to close off the galley so they can hide from passengers and not have to do their jobs, which also shuts off the first class bathroom as well. It's already hard...

    As you said, this is a solution in search of a problem. We've had zero incidences since the reinforced doors were put in place, so the system is working.

    Also, we ALL know that flight attendants are going to use that second door to close off the galley so they can hide from passengers and not have to do their jobs, which also shuts off the first class bathroom as well. It's already hard enough to get some flight attendants to leave the galley and assist their customers, giving them a door to close will only make that worse.

    1. Alex Guest

      What are you taking about? Assist the customers? They are primarily for your safety!

  48. creddit Guest

    Can't wait for flight attendants to close this door "for safety" for 45 minutes in order to give themselves privacy in the galley while they mess around on their phones

  49. David Diamond

    Sometimes less is more. Adding another door is completely pointless. More security theatre.

  50. Rhys Guest

    My first impression is that it would serve as a barrier when the cockpit door was opened and a pilot steps out to the bathroom or gets served a meal. Right now a drink car is typically used as an additional barrier across the aisle in the forward galley. This would just make the logistics easier on flight attendants in this situation.

  51. Neil Guest

    Delta has these on their (ancient) A330s

  52. Amy Fischer Guest

    Very bad news. The biggest danger on a plane is not passengers; one evil doer will be subdued by everyone else. The biggest danger is a pilot or co-pilot doing harm behind the cockpit door. A second door only magnifies the problem. Euro wings comes to mind. MH 370 may have been something related.

    If we can’t trust the public, we certainly shouldn’t trust two people.

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RCB Guest

As you said, this is a solution in search of a problem. We've had zero incidences since the reinforced doors were put in place, so the system is working. Also, we ALL know that flight attendants are going to use that second door to close off the galley so they can hide from passengers and not have to do their jobs, which also shuts off the first class bathroom as well. It's already hard enough to get some flight attendants to leave the galley and assist their customers, giving them a door to close will only make that worse.

3
AC Guest

Am I the only one that thinks FAs on some flights will close the door just to have privacy while they sit and gossip vs actually working? I recognize there are a lot of great FAs (the vast majority I've run into in my almost 40 years of flying) but some crews seem to be hell bent on doing as little as possible and this would facilitate that. The only thing that would block their plan in it is in the front with first/business class (neither term really applies to US domestic flights but you know what I mean) and the call button would be used more if needed to get them to work. BTW - I don't think this is needed. If someone wanted to rush the cart blocking the aisle wouldn't they just jump the half height "door" pictured? Of course it could be a full sized door which would make the FAs even more tempted to leave it closed as much as possible. In addition to the reinforced cockpit door you have the cart barrier, sky marshalls (I know not on every flight) and, as noted, a changed passenger mindset. There have been numerous cases of passengers helping FAs subdue people trying to bang on the door or enter the cockpit. Hopefully there are hearings and the FAA takes input from airlines instead of just rubber stamping this proposal.

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Andy Diamond

Definitely not. No barrier. Yes, the 2001 terrorist attacks may (but not more than “may”) have been facilitated by easy cockpit access. As you correctly state, there are at least four recent cases in which restricted cockpit access led to tragedy. I grew up with regular cockpit visits (yes, in flight). I also grew up with bullet proof glass in banks. Banks have meanswhile removed the armour and airlines have implemented it … Experience with recent hijacking of plane is: (a) there are very few, and (b) fellow pax and crew have absolutely zero tolerance and intervene harshly. They generally incapacitate and arrest hijackers (civil arrest is covered by many countries penal codes). The odds fortunately have turned against hijackers.

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