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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
BA 'considers stun guns for pilots'
Confiscated objects
UK airports are confiscating sharp objects
British Airways is considering the introduction of stun guns for pilots and "sky marshals" to prevent future hijackings.

BA is also looking at the possibility of introducing screening software which can compile a passenger "blacklist", the airline's in-house magazine, BA News reported.

Another option is installing closed-circuit TV cameras on board flights - a plan that had already been put on trial by BA before last month's terrorist attacks on the US.

It was vitally important that we acted quickly, but not in a knee-jerk fashion

David Hyde
But the airline has ruled out arming its flight crew with guns or knives as they "may serve only to arm an unarmed intruder".

In the US, many now feel it is inevitable that cockpits will be sealed by security doors and that armed sky marshals will sit incognito in planes.

'Logical measures'

"It was vitally important that we acted quickly, but not in a knee-jerk fashion," David Hyde, BA's director off safety, security and the environment, told the magazine.

"We have to bring in logical measures designed to counter the events of 11 September - measures which can be sustained.

"We are committed to remaining a safe and secure airline, with the safety of our passengers, crew and aircraft of paramount importance."

BA News said the aviation industry worldwide was looking at the placing of sky marshals in aircraft cabins and arming pilots with Taser stun guns.

Suspected passengers

"BA is currently looking at whether either of these options is practicable and will enhance safety," it said.

It added that new software was currently being developed to "nametrap" suspected passengers, or people travelling under an alias, on an electronic blacklist at check-in.

CCTV has already been tested on one BA plane, and the airline believes cameras could prove to be a useful tool in informing the flight crew of what is happening in the cabin of a very large aircraft, particularly when dealing with disruptive passengers.

Measures already introduced by BA in the last month include a ban on passengers carrying sharp objects in their hand luggage, additional searches of hand luggage, and the locking of cockpit doors.

BA News said other measures had also been brought in, but that these could not be publicised "for reasons of sensitivity".

See also:

26 Sep 01 | Business
UN agency reviews airline security
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