Armed pilot program budget to be slashed in half
March 5, 2012
The Obama administration’s budget proposes cutting more than half the funding for a program that trains airline pilots to wield guns in the event of a terrorist takeover; the program is voluntary and consists of an intensive eight-day training course and a recurring training every six months; thousands of U.S. airline pilots have been trained to carry weapons as a final line of defense against terrorism.
Pilots practice during weapons training course // Source: aero-news.net
The exact number of federal flight deck officers is classified, but the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that in 2009 a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesperson said there were an estimated 12,000 gun-toting pilots and that the program was set to expand.
The president’s latest budget would reduce the program’s budget from $25 million to $12.5 million. In addition the White House has called for slashing $36.5 million from the Federal Air Marshal Service budget’s $929.6 million budget....
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