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Fri, Jul 29, 2022

FAA Continues Battle for Secondary Flight Deck Barrier

NPRM for Additional Cockpit Protection Open for Comment

Recommendations from industry groups like the RTCA and ARAC that pushed for the installation of additional cockpit protections seem to have borne fruit, judging from recent movements within the FAA.

The administration has proposed the addition of a secondary barrier against intrusion for use while the primary flight deck door is open. Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg seems sweet on the idea, which would require new manufacture commercial passenger aircraft to come with the systems pre-installed. Currently, it does not appear to require that aircraft already in service obtain the secondary barriers, only that transport category aircraft manufactured 2 years after the effective rule date include them. 

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is now open for comment. In it, the overview of the rule reads thus: “This proposed rule would implement Section 336 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 by proposing to require the installation and use of an installed physical secondary barrier (IPSB) that would be deployed (closed and locked) whenever the flightdeck door is opened while the airplane is in flight. The purpose of this IPSB would be to impede unauthorized access to the flightdeck. The IPSB would be required to resist intrusion and meet certain physical standards, but still permit line-of-sight visibility between the flightdeck door and the cabin.”

The standards would apply to “certain newly-manufactured airplanes”, and would also require that those aircraft so provisioned include the use of the IPSB as part of their procedures for opening the flightdeck door.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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