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41

I haven't spoken to any terrorists, so the only source I have for this is Bruce Schneier, but apparently, they're hard to pull off. Objectively, this makes sense; if they were easy, there would be more of them. For the sake of not referencing any actual living or dead person, let's call our supposed terrorist "Hans Gruber". Hans has enough money to charter ...


39

Yes! You can charter large aircraft like the 747. A lot of airlines offer this service for large groups (sports teams come to mind), and there are also operators of the Boeing Business Jet that were created just for private and charter uses. The TSA requires aircraft like this to adopt a security program called the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program (...


22

Some pilots are armed, like casey says. Most, however, are not. And they have very little reason to: After 9/11, a lot stricter security measures have been made on all airplanes to limit the access non-essential staff has to the cockpit. This includes measures like a reinforced locked door between the cabin and cockpit. Because of the improved measures, ...


18

Some are -- in the US. The TSA has a program called Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) that involves training from the US Federal Marshals. The pilots who participate in this program are armed but will not display that status when in view of the public so you will normally be unable to identify them.


18

Whenever Air Force 1 takes off or lands, the FAA establishes a 'Temporary Flight Restriction'. Essentially this is a big 'upside down wedding cake' of airspace in which Air Traffic Control exercises very tight control of any aircraft operating in the TFR. Any traffic entering the TFR without prior approval, or any aircraft deviating from ATC instructions ...


15

The FAA standards seem to anticipate the use of firearms by people attempting to gain unlawful access to the cockpit. Opening locks with firearms is probably not as successful as TV would have you believe. Cockpit Door Standards Press Release – FAA Sets New Standards for Cockpit Doors Release No. APA 01-02 January 11, 2002 Contact: Alison Duquette ...


15

We covered that stuff during recurrent training and for the CRJ Regional Jets we were told to place it in the forward galley in front of the service door (opposite the main door) and cover with with as much weighty stuff as possible, wet blankets, heavy coats, and such. You had the mass of the galley to protect the flight deck to some degree, and in ...


9

There are numerous unclassified papers talking about LOC, GS, MLS and other navaid jamming. There are also instances of that happening, both intentionally and unintentionally. The issue with consumer electronics is made worse is that local consumer electronics on the plane can have local oscillators in the receivers. They are small signals, but they are ...


8

First of all, your statement, that it's not allowed to bring any liquid (gels, spray cans, ...) with you on most airports is simply not true. In the EU, any liquid must be in containers of not more volume than 100ml, and all containers must be in a transparent, close-able plastic bag of not more than 1000ml. In the US, the rule is the same, but the limits ...


7

Spoofing GPS means broadcasting a false GPS signal - This is harder than jamming GPS which can be done relatively easily by broadcasting a strong random signal at the relevent carrier frequencies. GPS receivers use GPS ephemeris tables which tell them where exactly they should expect each satellite to be. So the false GPS signal has to look enough like a ...


5

I've found a few instances myself: Radiological As part of the Litvinenko case: During the investigation into his death it was learned that a number of British Airways aircraft that flew between Moscow and London had been contaminated with the radioactive material [Polonium-210]. ... 33,000 passengers potentially exposed ... very low traces ... the ...


5

What immediately comes to mind is the Lockheed XF-90, an early US jet fighter, which had a very strong and heavy airframe. For that reason, the second prototype (of only two ever built) was subjected in 1952 to three nuclear bomb tests in the Nevada desert (not in flight, however. It was sitting on the ground). At this time, an unguided nuclear-armed air-to-...


5

The main reason why checked luggage is treated differently is that you cannot access it during the flight, therefore eliminating some of the security concerns (like e.g. a knife in checked baggage is not a risk). When your carry-on bag is hand-searched, it is most likely because something could not be seen properly or looked suspicious on the X-ray. The ...


4

Yes, An ILS could be jammed or disrupted. It is a narrow directional signal emitting from an antenna at the runway. A pilot uses other means of navigation to intercept its signal and verify the legitimacy of its course. A pilot is trained to cross-check position and to notice irregularities of the ILS indication. She or he is taught to be suspicious of ...


4

Normally, baggage takes much longer to switch flights than self-loading cargo, so your scenario is highly unlikely. In the event of a passenger missing and his/her baggage already on board, all bags need to be unloaded until the orphaned bag is found. When ULDs are used, those must be unloaded first and are then unpacked, mostly on the apron next to the ...


4

Those guys would gain no more than they'd gain if they hijacked the bus taking you to the airport. If fact they'd gain less as they'd have nowhere to go and there's a lot more (armed) police at the airport to take them down than there is in some remote place they could drive that bus to. The greatest risk to airliners isn't people forcing their way into ...


1

Us mere mortals are not entitled to know of the proceedings taking place behind the thick rubber curtains of the baggage conveyor belt, for reasons too obvious to list here. However, this Youtube video does show us the very infallible super-hi-tech scanners your question is referring to. At least in Atlanta, it seems obvious every checked in luggage goes ...


1

The problem with a gun is that if staff are the terrorists then everything becomes that much more dangerous. In some cases such as FedEx hijacking, and other ones, the chance of the hijacking being an inside job is higher. Therefore it was much more easier to overpower one hijacker who wanted to assault crew physically, than it would be if he were carrying a ...


1

Regarding TFRs, compliant pilots and terrorists: The TFR can "weed out" non-threats based on their compliance. Non-compliant aircraft would then be singled out as potential threats and dealt with accordingly. In addition, it doesn't just reduce the number of radar targets. It reduces the number of aircraft in the flight space concerned.


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