Federal Flight Deck Officer

Federal Flight Deck Officer

Federal Flight Deck Officer

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The Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program is run by the Federal Air Marshal Service with the aim of allowing select pilots of commercial airline flights to carry firearms.

Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act, part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 directed the Transportation Security Administration to develop the Federal Flight Deck Officer program as an additional layer of security. Under this program, eligible flight crew members are deputized Federal Law Enforcement Officers authorized by the Transportation Security Administration to use firearms to defend against acts of criminal violence or air piracy undertaken to gain control of their aircraft. A flight crew member may be a pilot, flight engineer or (if this obsolete position existed today) navigator assigned to the flight. Participants in the program are meant to remain anonymous, and are prohibited from sharing their participation with others.

In December 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law legislation that expanded program eligibility to include cargo pilots and certain other flight crew.

Federal Flight Deck Officers are Sworn and Deputized Federal Law Enforcement officers commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security/ TSA Law Enforcement Division. Officers are trained on the use of firearms, use of force, legal issues, defensive tactics, the psychology of survival and program standard operating procedures. Flight crew...
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