Tue, Mar 27, 2012
White House Would Halve $25 Million FFDO Appropriation
The FY2013 budget submitted by the Obama administration would cut the $25 million allocated for training flight crews in handgun use in half, which could spell the end to armed pilots in the cockpit of an airplane.
The program, known as FFDO, trains pilots and first officers so that they can safely carry handguns during flights. Fox News reports that the program costs taxpayers about $15 per flight segment.
In the 1980s and 1990s, pilots routinely carried firearms when they flew. But that program was scrapped prior to 9/11. During a panel discussion held Friday at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Commercial airline pilot Capt. Tracy Price linked the end of the program to the hijackings that occurred in 2001. “We had a really bad cockpit breach, four of them. We lost 3,000 Americans. We learned that day that this is a horrible, horrible experiment," he said.
The Department of Homeland Security says the FFDO is no longer as necessary because of the multiple layers of security in place for passengers and cargo on airplanes. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Congressional panel last month that TSA was moving into "risk-based systems" which were a higher funding priority than the FFDO.
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