Should All Airline Pilots Be Armed?

Captain Andy Danzinger is a former pilot for President Barack Obama's campaign plane, says pilots on commercial airlines should all be armed and says risk-based systems, like the Federal Air Marshal Program, are too expensive.

According to Danzinger's article in the NY Daily News, the hijackings on 9/11 resulted in the creation of the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act, which included the formation of the Federal Flight Deck Officers program in 2003. FFDOs—pilot-volunteers who are trained, permitted, and armed by the Transportation Security Agency—carry weapons in the cockpits of commercial airliners. Once they've completed the training, they are considered to be fully deputized law enforcement officers.

It costs $1 billion a year to put an estimated 2,200 air marshals into the air, at a cost of $3,300 per flight. According to Danzinger the FFDO program could put more armed pilots in the air at a cost of just $17 per flight, according to Danzinger.