Sky marshall with orders to shoot if necessary were assigned on Saturday ( 12 September ) to travel on U.
Sky marshall with orders to shoot if necessary were assigned on Saturday ( 12 September ) to travel on U.S. commercial aircraft.
White House aide Peter Flanagan and Mr. John Schaefer, Administrator of the Federation of American airlines, introduced the plan on Friday ( 11 September ) during a press conference at Kennedy Airport, New York.
Top secrecy surrounded the anti-hijacking plan put into effect on President Nixon's orders, and accepted - in some cases reluctantly, by the airlines.
Mr. James Ewing of Delta airlines, one of the country's largest domestic airline carriers, was one of the objectors.
But U.S. officials said the sky marshall, who will keep their identity secret from their fellow passengers, will be effective because they are highly trained, federal agents whose mission will not endanger aircraft in flight.
The officials appear to have won over the air-line pilots in the United States to accept the plan. Originally they opposed the idea of armed guards travelling on their aircraft.
The cost of the sky-marshall plan is to be borne by the airlines, the travelling public, and the general taxpayer in the United States. Another measure to be used against hi-jackers is an electro-magnetic screening device which will effectively detect hidden weapons. The United States Government will also call on other nations to ostracise those Governments who do not penalise hijackers.
White House aide Flanagan emphasised during the Press Conference that it was not true that a pressurised aircraft automatically faces disaster if a bullet pierces its skin. He said there was no substantial danger of de-pressurisation from such a shot.