New Concerns about Cockpit Access Trigger Security Bulletin

In response to an attempt last week by an unauthorized individual to gain access to the flight deck jumpseat on US Airways Flight 1935 from Philadelphia to West Palm Beach, ALPA has issued Security Alert Bulletin 2013-02. Because of the ongoing FBI criminal investigation, we are not at liberty to discuss some of the details of the event.

However, the news media has reported that the individual involved was a ticketed passenger from Paris to West Palm Beach, Florida, with a stop and flight change in Philadelphia. The individual was dressed in a white shirt with pilot epaulets, leather bomber jacket, and had non-authentic Air France pilot credentials. In Philadelphia, the individual boarded the aircraft during the passenger boarding process using his ticket. Once on board, he approached the cockpit and introduced himself to the flight deck crew. At some point, the flight deck crew told the individual to leave and take his assigned seat in the passenger cabin. Once in the passenger cabin, the individual became disruptive with a flight attendant regarding the stowage of carry-on luggage. At that point, the individual was removed from the flight.

This incident reminds us how important it is to be vigilant and follow security procedures. Please remember that CASS is only one layer of the security screening process and does not relieve the pilot in command of the responsibility to thoroughly check the credentials of a potential jumpseater. The bulletin outlines specific recommendations for ALPA crews to follow.

Read Security Alert Bulletin 2013-02.