A Changed World

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Weapons In The Cockpit...

Besides the continuing economic impact, 9/11 changed the entire world of aviation in myriad ways. Airline pilots now carry weapons in the cockpit. Sky marshals surreptitiously fill passenger seats. Cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers are kept away from the front of the cabin. But that's not enough for some. The pace of pilot weapons training is too slow, according to the Airline Pilots' Security Alliance -- an active lobbying group that didn't exist two years ago. Last week, APSA also criticized Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge's plan to cross-train 5,000 immigration agents as Federal Air Marshals. "It would be much more cost-effective to immediately accelerate and streamline the training of the thousands of volunteer professional airline pilots as federal officers," the group said in a news release.