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Free «Arming Pilots» Essay Sample


Even though there has been numerous reasons linked with the reason of putting in place the stern policies concerning the air transport within the United States of America and also those operating across the continents, the main rationale under enhancing the air transport security has been due to the 9/11 terrorists attack which sorrowfully happened for the reason that airline pilots were futile in overpowering the hijackers who had taken control over their particular planes (Seidenstat, 2009). After that dreadful attack, many terrorist-related incidents have occurred, further exposing the nation to much danger. Therefore, extensive research and analysis of the security of pilots together with the passengers show that there is a dire need for legislation to be put in place which would, at least, legalize the arming of airline pilots with the aim of enabling them to protect themselves and their passengers in times of horrifying incidents like the 9/11 and be averted in time (Airline Pilots Security Alliance, n.d.).



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Therefore, arming the airline pilots would actually be an excellent solution towards curbing the dreadful further terror attacks following the September 11th incident. The federal government started questioning on the safety of both the passengers, together with the crew on board all commercial airliners travelling all over the globe. Numerous solutions were brought forth which included a very contentious subject of arming the cockpit crews with firearms. In the general view, all the commercial airline pilots ought to be armed as they work absolutely in the most essential part in an aircraft which totally requires safe operation with no interference. Moreover, its true to conclude that really anything inside the airliner can be turned into a weapon; for instance, a soda can, a seat strap, even a mere beverage cart, thus, much considerations have to be done with the aim of allowing pilots to be armed while in transit (Arming Pilots against Terrorism, n.d.).


The call for improved security within the U.S. nation with regard to the domestic, as well as the intercontinental airlines no longer needs to be a matter of continuous debate by the authorities and media. To prosper, it has to have superior security in all avenues ranging from society, private corporations, governmental bodies, and this also includes the transport sector, which sees massive movement of people within the country, as well as across borders. With respect to the study, much emphasis is directed towards the airline means of transportation, which are responsible for ferrying people across the continents, and this aspect makes it a possible target by the terror gangs. America as a country, its citizens all over the world together with their interests have had numerous security threats across the globe; therefore, it is actually very important that premeditated federal procedures in terms of proper legislation are put in place to improve the safety of people whilst travelling all over the world (Elias, n.d.).

Post 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: the Likelihood of Occurrence

A major starting position for this grave and seemingly very important issue is to estimate the danger levels that all the American airlines’ and the American citizens’, as well as the nation’s interests are faced with. An exact and concise valuation of the central government’s intensity of watchfulness after the 9/11 attack implies that there is really a higher risk of yet another terrorist attack of quite similar nature or rather magnitude than at in the least other time. The establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and also the assent by Congress body of several legislations intended at giving protection agencies more authority to access data or information concerning the alleged terrorists are presently adequate indicators that there is a likelihood of a reiterate of the 9/11 terror incidents (Shane, 2007).

The airlines have since then been subjected to added safety prerequisites, and journey advisories by the central government against particular suspected persons, mostly those of African and Middle Eastern descent, directly point to the compelling fears that terror threats to the airlines are yet to be over. Similarly, the proscription of through flights by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to specific cities, as well as the refutation of the airport landing rights to a number of intercontinental airlines, designate that a terrorist threat of the 9/11 caliper  cannot really be ruled out (Bernard, 2003)

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Right from the accessible facts and findings, the air transport has apparently become a simple object for radical groups, since there is less confrontation on board of the airlines from either the pilots or their crew (Bernard, 2003). As a result, it is exceedingly probable that airlines, predominantly the passenger ones, can be highly targeted yet again for likely use in staging and propelling the terror attacks. 

Presented with the likely trends pointed out above and the apparent susceptibility that airline crew and passengers are exposed to at whatever time they are flying in the mid-air, it is of the essence that some sort of protective covering be passed on board aircrafts, so that they are employed as defense tools against any potential attacks by terror affiliated individuals (Faludi, 2007).

Moderately over and over again than not, the thought of arming whichever other people boarding an airliner, be it either the crew or the passengers, has been out looked as excessively dangerous. Thus, there remains the thought that only pilots should be armed while in mid-air. The armaments do not need to be the categories that are extremely explosive, for instance, like common firearms, as they can actually intensify the danger within the airline, thus, bringing even more jeopardy to other passengers (Dougherty, 2002).

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As an alternative, the relevant authorities could bring in some form of special armor, which merely explodes only if and when it is exposed to intense force. For instance, bullets which are frangible, made of powdered and very compressed alloys can be of great application in such situations which involve confronting terrorists in airlines, because these bullets have the capability to obliterate the person’s tissue, although they are greatly improbable to do any severe smash up to the aircraft’s fuselage. Furthermore, such devices cannot bring out depressurization troubles inside the airline and, hence, can be securely utilized, while the craft is in mid-air to fight against any potential terrorists.

Incidents, with regards to the attempted airline assails have been recorded in various places ever since the event of 9/11, and these incidents serve as an indicator that terror affiliated radicals are not ended yet with the use of airlines to carry out attacks on their chosen targets. For instance, the latest case of terrorism came about 8 years ago, since the 9/11 incident, which involved a Nigerian national, who had effectively managed to carry explosive materials inside an American airliner in the Christmas of 2009 (Elias, n.d.). This happening has to truly serve as a very last caution to those divergent to the act of arming pilots, since it had those explosive devices exploded, then one would be talking of losing more lives due to mistakes that, otherwise, could have been avoided longtime ago.

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Although, the terror man on no account tried to capture the aircraft, but the reality that he actually managed to bypass all those security checks and bring in explosives on board clearly indicates that he was additionally authoritative than any possible other individual inside the airliner and one would at any time have done as he desired without no much resistance from the other occupants. Moreover what made issues even worse was that, even though the terrorist was actually blacklisted by the authorities as not creditable, permitting on board any aircraft, he, nevertheless, managed to beat the odds and get aboard the craft legally (Carafano, 2007).

This incident reveals that even though security measures and policies have been put in place to screen and make early detection of such terrorists trying to aboard the airliners, these security checks have a high probability of failing to detect them, thus, failing at any time, therefore, the only absolute means to guard passengers, while having the pilots armed throughout the journey. Actually the sheer awareness by those would-be terrorists and hijackers is that the fact that pilots are fully armed in flight would in itself discourage them from making audacious terror attacks, as it has been observed in precedent incidents (Faludi, 2007). The main aim of arming pilots is to make sure that they are the mainly authoritative people on board of the aircraft and this can really act to protect all the passengers in case of any danger.

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Post 9/11 War on Terror

Separately from the terror incidents that have taken place straightforwardly concerning airlines, there is still the wider danger of American citizens which has been circumstanced by the nation’s compact position of terrorism, together with the international war it is on the leading end, continuing the war on terror (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, 2004). At the moment, the Americans are even more uncovered barely when in this nation and anywhere around the globe.

Islamic militants in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as their dispersed sympathizers in different places, are running around the timepiece to make sure that they are being violent to the U.S. interests by the means of any way possible due to the United States’ warfare on terror which has quite shaken a number of their bases and also a few of their top figures, for instance, Osama. Therefore their sympathizers are out everywhere on a retribution mission and by the look of things they are taking no chances. Bearing in mind that the administration or rather the federal government has since the 9/11 terror attack sworn to succeed this combat on terror, it has to guarantee that it shuts all possible loopholes, still as it commences on the offensive (Seidenstat, 2009). 

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It would not be fair to mention that at present, the US airlines are more exposed to terrorism endeavors than before, and also they are exposed to the furthermost risk of assault by the armed militants (Faludi, 2007). Besides the Al-Qaeda terror group, there exist other radical groups, for instance, the Hezbollah, which notably in the earlier period have had no genuine grounds to assail in the U.S., but currently they might have an excellent motive to do that.

This emanates from the reason that their known financiers and allies are being extensively hunted down by the U.S. security forces. Consequently, the airlines making travels to and coming from nations like Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Iran, the UAE, Lebanon, as well as numerous other countries with a towering Muslim populace are at risk of being bombed down or even used as destructive projectiles, as used during the 9/11 attack, as also the troops in Afghanistan and other different places in the globe (Carafano, 2007). 


Due to the yet intensifying security threats that all the American citizens are facing all over the world and also are being exposed to after the 9/11 terror attack, it turned out to be very important that airlines, the mainly probable targets for the terror radicals for the reason that they travel to different destinations whether within or outside the U.S. boundaries, ought to be protected totally from any likely dangers by enacting the legislation allowing all the airliner pilots to be armed while in flight (Lott, 2003). From the incidents occurring after 9/11, it has extensively been established that the American people, together with their interests are quite more insecure than in any other period of time before. The only tangible and outstanding measure to be put in place is arming pilots, so that while in flight, in case of terror incidents, they would able to defend the aircraft from control by the radicals, as well as protect their passengers. Such a positive move will definitely go a long means in plummeting security threats to the U.S. nation and its citizens, as well.


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