Unlike opinions expressed
overwhelmingly by its American counterpart, the BALPA
leadership isn't keen on allowing volunteer pilots to be armed.
In a general message largely overlooked on these shores, Captain
Mervyn Granshaw, Chairman of the British Air Line Pilots’
Association (BALPA) said: "We have difficulties with the idea of
having lethal weapons on board airliners. We have always supported
enhanced security measures but we believe the emphasis must be on
preventing potential terrorists boarding an aircraft in the first
Prefers profiling, baggage-matching:
"This means having effective counter
measures such as passenger profiling and use of a system like the
Matchmaker programme developed by QinetiQ. The technology now
exists and BALPA believes that such systems should be available and
in use at all check-ins along with improvements in baggage and
passenger screening technology.
"I believe that this is the real way forward, along with
increased security training for crew and airline managers. This
would better prepare them for any threat posed by co-ordinated
international terrorists and for increased awareness among the
travelling public, they too have their part to play."