Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect our Nation’s Skies

Ellen Saracini speaks on H.R. 911 in August of 2018. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick and Representatives Josh Gottheimer, of New Jersey;  André Carson, Indiana, and Peter King of New York introduced legislation to protect the safety of American citizens by requiring installation of secondary cockpit barriers on most commercial aircraft.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer speaks at the Garden of Reflection in August 2018. He is joined by (from left) State Rep. Perry Warren, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Ellen Saracini, and several pilots and first responders. Photo by Rick Rickman.

The Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act of 2019 was designed to prevent terrorist attacks on planes similar to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The bill mandates inexpensive, lightweight wire-mesh gates be installed on existing aircraft between the passenger cabin and the cockpit door – gates that would block access to the flight deck whenever the cockpit door is opened during flight.

The bill also would require all existing aircraft to retrofit a secondary barrier so that current aircraft fleets are held to the same standard of safety as newly manufactured aircraft.

This legislation is named in honor of Captain Victor J. Saracini, of Lower Makefield, whose plane was deliberately flown into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. His widow, Ellen, has become a national advocate for aviation safety since 9/11.