Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Delta Unveils Security Upgrades First Plane Equipped for Flight Evaluation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Delta Unveils Security Upgrades First Plane Equipped for Flight Evaluation

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Basinger, Times-Union staff writer

ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines unveiled yesterday the first of its planes equipped with a comprehensive security plan, complete with cockpit door security bars, closed-circuit surveillance cameras and an enhanced tracking system.

The test plane, an MD-88 commercial aircraft, is just one component of the airline's $80-million-plus commitment to strengthen onboard security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Delta officials say they expect to fund about half of the project with their share of the $500 million approved by the federal government to strengthen airline security.

To date, all of Delta's 574 commercial aircraft have been fitted with the cockpit bars, a security enhancement that will continue to evolve, said Ray Valeika, senior vice president of Delta's technical operations.

The cockpit bars, representing the first phase of Delta's security beef-up, will be replaced in the near future with highly reinforced doors and surrounding structures, resistant to bullets and blunt-force attacks, such as battering rams.

Inside the cockpit, pilots in the model plane have a closed-circuit television screen on which they can observe the entire plane using cameras strategically installed throughout the cabin.

The plane also has a new transponder -- the device that allows air-traffic controllers to track a plane's altitude and location. Terrorists turned off transponders in some of the planes hijacked on Sept. 11, making the planes' immediate whereabouts more or less unknown to those on the ground. None of those hijacked that day were from Delta's fleet.

"[The new transponder] will now allow pilots to put it in a secure mode, allowing continuous, uninterrupted tracking of the plane until it lands," said Udo Rieder, vice president of engineering and planning for Delta. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.