Since the hijacking of four American planes on September 11, 2001, subsequent regulations have made access to the flight deck on commercial passenger aircraft resistant to intrusion and forceable entry. By 2007 regulations demanded that there be a set of rules in place for when the cockpit door was opened, whist also stipulating that the door must remain locked while a plane was in operation unless to allow access for an authorised person.
In 2019 the FAA was supposed to have adopted new rules under a 2018 federal law, but the implementation of these regulations has been delayed by what the FAA refers to as ‘procedural rules’ it has to follow. However, the FAA has now announced that once finalised, these rules will become applicable to all new planes within a two-year period of these new rules being adopted. This Wednesday the FAA confirmed that the new regulations will require all new planes to be fitted with a second barrier between the main cabin and the flight deck, applicable to all new U.S. commercial passenger aircraft.
“Each additional layer of safety matters. Protecting flight crews helps keep our system the safest in the world,” FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen said.
In 2019 delays in implementing new regulations were questioned by the House Transportation Committee as Congress had already directed the agency to issue an order requiring the installation of a second barrier to entry in brand-new aircraft.