Arming Airline Pilots

A review of the arguments for and against the arming of airline pilots.

The paper relates that since the hijackings of September 11, there has been a great deal of controversy involving whether armed pilots could have prevented both the takeovers and the tragedies that followed. The paper shows how there are reasonable arguments on both sides and concludes that the issue of arming pilots is so serious and controversial that it might never be fully resolved.
“The other side of the issue is voiced by the Airline Pilots’ Security Alliance (ASPA), which advocates a controlled and well-coordinated effort to train and arm airline pilots. The organization maintains that this would deter terrorist by denying them access to the cockpit. Even if terrorists take over the plane, they still would not be able to control it (Anonymous 1, online).
The APSA further states that because of the careful screening for weapons, including crew members, only hijackers can board a plane with weapons, even the box cutters the September 11 terrorists used. In effect, this makes both crew and passengers extremely vulnerable, something that was proven only too well on September 11 (Anonymous 1, online).

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