FAA issues final rule requiring second cockpit door

The FAA has issued a final rule requiring all new aircraft flown by U.S. commercial airlines to have a secondary cockpit door. 

The rule will be in effect for all planes manufactured for delivery to a U.S. airline beginning two years from its upcoming publication in the Federal Register. 

The second door will enable a pilot to close the door to the cockpit before opening a door to the airplane cabin, preventing a hijacker from rushing the cockpit when a pilot steps out to use the lavatory.

The regulation has been a priority for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) since 9/11. 

The FAA estimates that compliance with the rule will cost as much as $296.5 million over the next 25 years and up to $505 million over the next 50 years. 

The FAA had long been out of compliance with a congressional mandate to address the matter. The 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act directed the FAA to issue an order requiring secondary cockpit barriers by October 2019.  

ALPA issued a statement Wednesday praising the finalization of the rule, but calling for a redoubling of efforts to achieve secondary cockpit door requirements for existing planes, as well. 

“Ensuring that no terrorist — domestic or international — breaches another aircraft flight deck door again should be one of this nation’s highest security priorities,” ALPA president Jason Ambrosi said.

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