ALPA Fights for FFDO Funding on Program’s 10th Anniversary
fighting an administration proposal to eliminate funding for the Federal Flight
Deck Officer (FFDO) program, a key layer in aviation security, even as the
Association commemorated the program’s success on April 12, its 10th
“For the last 10 years, the FFDO program has proven to be a cost-effective
tool in protecting our nation’s airliners from potential terrorist attacks and
is a strong deterrent against any such attempts. It does so at a tremendous
value to the federal government, costing only a few dollars per protected
flight,” said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak. “Thousands of ALPA and other
airline pilots have made many personal sacrifices to protect our nation’s
airline passengers, crews, and cargo by serving as FFDOs. I commend each of them
for their service and commitment. ALPA will lead the fight to ensure this
crucial program continues to protect our nation’s airliners.”
Call to Action.
Last week, ALPA expressed adamant opposition to the
administration’s proposal to eliminate FFDO funding in its proposed FY14 federal
budget. The program operates on a budget of about $25 million annually, roughly
the same amount as when it began in 2003 with only 44 deputized officers. Today,
thousands of trained pilot volunteers serve.
ALPA successfully defended FFDO funding in 2012 when the administration
proposed slashing the program’s budget by more than 50 percent as part of its
“Congress rejected the administration’s previous attempt to cut this critical
program, recognizing the security it provides to our national air transportation
system,” said Moak. “ALPA urges Congress to act again by rejecting this
misguided proposal and to fully fund this critical security program.”
The government has hailed the FFDO program as one of the most effective
enhancements in aviation security since the events of September 11, 2001. It
provides a critical layer of defense in protecting airline flight decks from
hostile takeover, thereby helping to ensure the survival of the aviation
ALPA conceived of the program and was instrumental in forming the
government–industry partnership that was ultimately successful in achieving it,
which became a reality with the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
The Association worked with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the Transportation
Security Administration on the program’s design and implementation.
There is still strong support for the FFDO program within the pilot ranks. A
recent call for pilots to volunteer for a few training slots this June produced
more than 800 responses from ALPA pilots over the course of a few days.
Airline pilots willingly volunteer their energy, time, and personal finances
to serve as FFDOs. Candidates who apply to the program, which accepts a limited
number of new applicants each year, are reviewed and selected by the Federal Air
Marshal Service. If selected, they undergo an intensive training program before
becoming eligible to be deputized as law enforcement officers. They are also
required to attend requalification and recurrent trainings while serving.
For more information about the program, please review
ALPA’s FFDO white paper.