...And Armed Pilots In The Terminal

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The DHS authorization bill also mandates changes to the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program that have long been lobbied for by the participating pilots. If approved by the Senate, the bill would require the DHS to issue badges to qualified FFDOs and allow them to transport their weapons "on their persons," rather than inside a locked metal box as is now required. However, the department can prescribe any training, equipment, or procedures it finds necessary to ensure safety and maximize weapon retention. The bill also would allow FFDOs to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in traveling to a training site and would improve access to training facilities. The Coalition of Airline Pilots welcomed the passage of the bill, which it said "will add needed improvements to the Federal Flight Deck Officer program." The Air Line Pilots Association also approved of the changes.