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Airlines Security: The Federal Flight Deck Officer Program

NCJ Number
Homeland Defense Journal Volume: 3 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2005 Pages: 10-14
James M. Berberet
Date Published
March 2005
5 pages
This article describes the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) Program.
A program of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the FFDO program is designed to train pilots and crew as a last line of defense to prevent and deter future acts of terrorism against commercial aircraft. The policy changes in regard to air travel that have taken place since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, are enumerated and include a multi-layered defense of airport security, hardened cockpit doors, and the FFDO program. FFDO is a unique program in that it trains and arms pilots and crew to defend aircraft in the event a hijacker attempts to overtake the cockpit; it is unique in that it is not just for law enforcement officers. The FFDO training program is rigorous and includes academic lessons, close quarters simulation training, and firearms training. The response to the program by both its participants and the public has been overwhelmingly positive and airlines are encouraging their pilots to attend the training by rescheduling flights so pilots are free for training. Other TSA security programs are briefly overviewed and a textbox provides an outline of the FFDO eligibility requirements, selection for training, and training requirements. Exhibits