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TTD Urges Senate to Mandate Secondary Barriers in Final FAA Reauthorization Bill

By Admin

March 28, 2024

The Honorable Maria Cantwell
Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Ted Cruz
Ranking Member
Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chair Cantwell and Ranking Member Cruz:

On behalf of our affiliated unions representing hundreds of thousands of aviation workers nationwide, we strongly support including Section 522 in H.R. 3935, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act in the final conferenced Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. Section 522 establishes an aviation rulemaking committee and requires the FAA to issue a final rule based on the committee’s findings on secondary cockpit barriers in a timely fashion. This section, modeled after the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act (S./H.R. 911), was proposed as an amendment and passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 392-41.

In the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Congress passed a statute requiring, at a minimum, the FAA to issue a rule that all new aircraft for delivery to passenger air carriers have Installed Physical Secondary Barriers (IPSB) within one year. However, no meaningful action was taken to implement the rule until nearly five years after enacting the Saracini Aviation Safety Act of 2018 (i.e., Section 336 of P.L 115-254). Finally, in June 2023, the FAA issued a long-awaited final rule to mandate the installation of secondary barriers on all newly manufactured aircraft within two years.

However, IPSB installation should affect more than just newly manufactured aircraft; it should be installed existing aircraft operating in Part 121 Service. Transportation labor strongly supports retaining House provision Section 522 to prevent access to the flight deck when the primary reinforced door is open during flight. These lightweight, retractable barriers provide an extra layer of protection by separating the flight deck door from the passenger cabin when pilots need to enter and exit the cockpit during a flight.  Codifying this provision into law would ensure the flying skies are even safer for workers and the public.

We commend your dedication to passing a bipartisan FAA Reauthorization bill that continues to protect and advance aviation safety. Please prioritize the public’s safety and our national security by including the House provision to install secondary cockpit barriers on all aircraft flying in Part 121 Service.


Greg Regan, President
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

CC: Chairman Sam Graves
Ranking Members Rick Larsen

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