RELEASE: Gottheimer Amendments to Add Secondary Cockpit Barriers to Airplanes and Tackle Flight Delays Pass in Reauthorization of FAA 

Amendment helps safeguard airplane cockpits against terrorists. Legislation also makes air travel more affordable for families

May 15, 2024
Press

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s provisions to add secondary cockpit barriers and study flight delays in the tri-state area passed the House of Representatives, as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024. The bill, which passed by a vote of 387-26, reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the safety and efficiency of air travel in the United States, for five years. 

Gottheimer’s first bipartisan amendment, co-led by his Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), will require inexpensive, commonsense secondary cockpit barriers on all commercial aircraft. The installation of secondary cockpit barriers on all commercial passenger flights is the only 9/11 Commission recommendation not yet implemented. In 2018, Gottheimer and Fitzpatrick helped pass and sign into law the Saracini Aviation Safety Act, which required the installation of secondary barriers on new passenger aircraft. Secondary cockpit barriers are key to preventing the hijacking of airplanes. On 9/11, terrorists stormed the cockpit knowing that the doors would be opened early in the flight. And until today, that flight deck remained vulnerable when the cockpit had to open. This amendment will keep terrorists out of the cockpit.

Gottheimer’s second amendment will require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on flight delays in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

“I am proud to have two of my amendments, focused on adding secondary cockpit barriers and tackling flight delays in the tri-state area, included in the bipartisan FAA reauthorization. My amendment on secondary cockpit measures is of special importance to me and all those in North Jersey who saw the plane hijackings on 9/11. This amendment is a critical step to help prevent 9/11 from ever happening again. ” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “My amendments — and this entire reauthorization — will help keep air travel safe, reliable, and affordable for Jersey families. I’m also glad this legislation strengthens protections for consumers and helps make air travel more affordable for families, which I’ve been fighting for as part of my Clear and Simple Airline Agenda.”

Gottheimer has long advocated for increased airline consumer transparency, as part of his Clear and Simple Airline Agenda. In April, Gottheimer announced his ETA Act to help protect customers from surprise fees when purchasing a ticket, requiring airlines to communicate all fees upfront. The FAA reauthorization includes commonsense provisions to protect consumers and increase transparency, including a right to refunds, a guarantee of fee-free family seating, and better communication with consumers in the case of delays and cancellations.

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