21 years after the deadly 9/11 attacks, American lawmakers are still reluctant to pass a simple measure that can prevent more such lethal attacks on the United States.
Aviation experts believe cockpits should be made more secure by installing a secondary gate outside them. This would allow pilots to easily open the cockpit door whenever required without the fear of any invasion of the cockpit.
Airplanes Still Not Secured 21 Years After 9/11
While pilots are required to close the cockpit gate during the flight, the door does open when the pilot wants to use the restroom or when flight attendants want to deliver food to the pilots.
Whenever pilots open the cockpit door, any hijacker in the plane has a small window to rush into the cockpit to control the plane.
So, airline experts believe a small mesh gate should be installed some feet away from the cockpit, which will not allow hijackers to enter the cockpit, even if pilots open its gate.
In addition to this, when flight attendants want to give food to the pilots, they can also first lock the mesh gate before the pilots open the cockpit to take in the food.
In 2018, Congress realized its responsibility and passed a measure that required airliners to use a secondary barrier before the cockpit.
Though the 2018 law is only applicable to new airlines; so all old jets still remain vulnerable to hijacking. Airliners that voluntarily installed secondary barriers on their old planes reported these gates can easily be installed within $5,000.
So, airplanes are still not secure after 9/11?
Passenger melts down before takeoff, invades the cockpit and grounds flight to Miami https://t.co/lOxcJj9F2e
— Sal Vadacchino🇨🇦 (@SalVadacchino1) January 12, 2022
Ellen Saracini, the widow of the pilot of the United Flight 175, which was blasted into the South Tower in New York on September 11, 2001, stated the negligence to make cockpits impenetrable is making another 9/11 possible.
Terrorists Can Easily Invade Open Cockpits, Even Today
After the deadly incidents, the 9/11 commission found out hijackers are likely to invade the cockpit within 15 minutes of the takeoff, since doors of the cockpits are usually opened during this time.
According to the report, the 9/11 terrorists were so confident they believed they would not need any other weapon except knives, since it is easy to break into the cockpit.
Why isn't the pilots door in an airplane more secure. Separate entrance would be safer. Limit access to the cockpit for safety. Makes sense.
— Husker Fox (Fully Vaccinated) (@HuskerFox) May 20, 2015
Right after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a law to protect the cockpit doors to avoid any hijackers’ invasion.
Whereas the Federal Aviation Commission noted lawmakers still ignored the fact that doors open multiple times during the flight, which can easily allow hijackers to enter the cockpit.
Currently, flight attendants keep standing outside the cockpit after serving the food so pilots can shut down the doors.
However, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, Sara Nelson, suggested it is a poor practice that flight attendants are required to protect the cockpit using their own bodies.
Some video simulations acknowledged by the Federal Aviation Administration even insisted attackers who are ready to pounce the cockpit can enter it within three seconds, even with the food cart in their way.