International Aviation Security Academy

"Nearly 3,000 people died on September 11 because eight pilots died. It didn’t have to happen, and we need to be sure it doesn’t happen again. Had these individuals been provided current strategy and appropriate lethal force tools, the outcome would have been dramatically different," said Capt. Steve Luckey as he opened the spring session of ALPA’s International Aviation Security Academy, held in San Diego in April. ALPA’s National Security Committee sponsors the Academy.

Attending the 5-day academy were nearly 90 individuals including line pilots, airport security officials, members of law enforcement, and government officials, who learned about such security issues as recognizing explosive devices, carrying firearms in the cockpit, perceiving threats, using self-defense, and responding to the new terrorist threat.

Speakers, drawn from a wide range of security disciplines, included David Harel from the Protection and Security Division of the Israeli Security Agency, Michael Brooks from Delta Air Lines’ Abusive Passenger/Workplace Violence Programs, Kenneth Maxwell from the FBI’s Counterterrorism Branch of the New York Field Office, and Michael Aguilar, who serves as the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Security Director for San Diego International Airport.

"This was one of our better sessions," said Capt. Luckey. "We had a wide range of professional speakers, and we had attendees from around the world. The discussions between the instructors and students are always very beneficial and constructive for both parties," he said. Capt. Luckey added that the events of September 11 and its aftermath rewrote the rules for airline security forever. "Keeping all individuals who deal with security informed of the rapidly changing events in this arena is important. Our feedback indicates the Academy does a tremendous job in that area," he said

ALPA’s National Security Committee sponsors two Academy sessions each year, one the spring and the other in the fall. The next Academy will be held near Orlando.