Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García and Brian Fitzpatrick Re-Introduce Bipartisan Cargo Flight Deck Security Act

July 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), members of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, re-introduced the Cargo Flight Deck Security Act. This bipartisan bill will ensure that flight decks on cargo planes are as secure as those in all other aircraft. Currently, pilots on cargo flights often carry passengers that may be employees of the company or handlers accompanying animals. While these passengers undergo additional security vetting, the flight deck should remain protected from intrusion.

“The aviation industry must prioritize safety for both pilots and communities on the ground. There’s no good reason why cockpits in cargo planes should not have the same security measures that have been in place for passenger planes since the September 11th, 2001 tragedy. Along with background checks and security screenings, light deck doors are a crucial safeguard to keep pilots, crew and people on the ground safe.  I am proud to advance this bipartisan bill to keep our skies the safest in the world,” said. Rep. García.

“Common safety and security provisions for cargo pilots should be a top priority for all-cargo airlines,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to support the Cargo Flight Deck Security Act, which will require these aircraft to meet essential safety requirements that prioritize both pilots and passengers.”

“For far too long, there has been a dangerous double standard when it comes to common safety and security provisions for cargo pilots. Thanks to Reps. Garcia and Fitzpatrick’s leadership, this bill will help advance commercial aviation by protecting not only pilots and their cargo, but also citizens in communities on the ground and flying in our shared airspace,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.

Many cargo planes have an open interior, without a cockpit barrier to protect the flight deck.  There is no mandate that the flight deck of a cargo aircraft be separated or secure from the cargo and passenger area. This is a matter of aircraft security, and cargo pilots have been fighting for hardened cockpit doors for almost two decades. This bill will solve that long overdue security concern. 

Representatives Jan Schakowsky (Il-09) and André Carson (IN-07) are also original cosponsors of the Cargo Flight Deck Security Act.

The legislation has also been endorsed by the following organizations: Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Allied Pilots Association (APA), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD).