Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced an amendment known as the Arming All Pilots Act to encourage pilots to enroll in the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FDDO) program. It would increase training opportunities for pilots by increasing the number of training facilities used for initial and recurrent training, including firearms re-qualification. In addition, the amendment would require five days of initial training, with two days of in-person classroom attendance and additional online training options.
Recurrent training for officers would be set at two days every five years.
“The Federal Flight Deck Officer Program is an important element in our continued efforts to ensure the safety of airline passengers, and my amendment will make it possible for more pilots to get trained and protect flyers. Pilots regularly tell me they’ve experienced problems with the availability of training under the current program; my amendment addresses those concerns and ensures that participants in the program have the critical training they need,” Paul said in a press release.
Paul first introduced the Arming All Pilots Act in July 2015, where it died in committee.
The Obama administration had sought to cut funding for the program back in 2012, arguing that TSA screening and locked cockpit doors were effective enough.