9/11 -- St. Petersburg Times Special Report

Sunday, Sept. 1
  • Florida: Terror's launching pad
  • The 19 plotters and their day of terror
  • Remembering

    Monday, Sept. 2
  • When tragedy meets capitalism
  • '9/11 fatigue' is natural, mental health experts say

    Tuesday, Sept. 3
  • Coping as a kid
  • Eric Deggans: 9/11 documentary asks troubling questions about religion
  • Sept. 11 photograph exhibit opens

    Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Millions in new funding don't guarantee security
  • Donations to local charities slow in months after attacks
  • Sept. 11 donations swamp charities
  • Bush to visit three attack sites on 9/11

    Thursday, Sept. 5
  • Attack anniversary is living history lesson
  • Trading fallback system improved
  • Future of site still beset by debate

    Friday, Sept. 6
  • Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots
  • Dream job becoming demoralizing
  • New plane doors would withstand gunfire
  • What ever happened to ... Those patriotic paint jobs?
  • The other 911
  • Consolidated for the cause

    Saturday, Sept. 7
  • In chaos, TIA tower controlled 9/11 skies
  • Congress, N.Y. reaffirm solidarity
  • Traveling can be nicer in rougher countries
  • For TIA workers, 'normal' not what it used to be
  • Airlines don't see relief over horizon
  • Terror only one blow to tourism
  • A year later, it's the home fires that burn brightly
  • Flying the flag

    Sunday, Sept. 8
  • 125 Cedar Street
  • The drama in Sarasota
  • Cautious, yes, but still traveling
  • As security increases, fervor fades
  • Rising risks
  • Finding lessons in rubble of tragedy
  • Public loss, private grief
  • Duty calls; he goes; they wait
  • Riled residents show true colors
  • Keeping her distance
  • Which way leads up?
  • For the record
  • 45 Questions
  • A lexicon of terror, post-9/11
  • Before attacks, this was the news
  • Other events on Sept. 11
  • Voice mail delivers, retains final words
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it

    Monday, Sept. 9
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines

    Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks

    Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • A piece of paper . a blue and white truck
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill
  • 09-11-01 Perspectives
  • Those who died in the attacks
  • Myriad rescue agencies trust their link won't fail
  • Photo gallery
  • (This Flash gallery requires the free Flash Player 5+.)

    Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Emotional service honors those who died selflessly
  • Elements of pride
  • Echo of 9/11 empties airport
  • A day full of tributes, flags and questions
  • Prayer, fellowship pull many through agonizing anniversary
  • Tributes great and small
  • Children in a changed world pause to reflect
  • Citrus recalls 9/11 with its heart
  • Marking the imponderable
  • Ministers assure that God was there that sorrowful day
  • Chime recalls a nation's losses
  • For law officers, day passes quietly
  • Residents gather to heal, remember
  • In big and small ways, our community pays tribute
  • Cities somberly mark Sept. 11
  • Patriotic display greets drivers
  • Day of grief, resolve
  • At county schools, remembrance resounds
  • Travel lags on attacks' anniversary
  • They were us
  • Americans worldwide cautious on anniversary
  • Radical Muslims discuss 'positive outcomes' of Sept. 11
  • Amid grief, Bush gives warning

  • printer version

    Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots

    Pilots, seen as the last line of defense against hijackers, would first need to have firearms training.

    By BILL ADAIR, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 6, 2002
    View related 10 News video
    56k | High-Speed

    WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to allow airline pilots to carry guns.

    Just an hour before the vote, the Bush administration warned that the program faces serious logistical and budgetary hurdles, but senators cast aside those concerns and said it was crucial to give pilots the right to protect themselves against hijackers.

    "We need to give the crew and passengers a last line of defense," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., one of the co-sponsors of the gun amendment. "We cannot allow passengers and crews to be on a plane without an air marshal and have no line of defense before being shot down by our military."

    The gun amendment, attached to the bill that would create a new Department of Homeland Security, passed 87-6. The House passed a similar provision on its Homeland Security bill, so the gun program is likely to be included when the bill goes to President Bush this fall.

    The amendment would allow pilots who undergo training to be deputized as volunteer law enforcement officers and allowed to carry guns.

    Florida Sens. Bob Graham and Bill Nelson both voted in favor of the gun amendment.

    The Senate vote was surprisingly lopsided. A few months ago, the proposal had little support. But many senators changed their minds after talking with airline pilots, who launched an aggressive lobbying campaign.

    The Bush administration had been staunchly opposed to the idea until this week. An hour before the vote, the administration sent a letter that indicated the program was probably inevitable, but warned that it faces serious hurdles.

    In the letter to Sens. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., Transportation Security Administration chief James M. Loy said as many as 85,000 pilots could be eligible for the program, which could lead to huge training and administrative costs. He estimated the program could cost as much $900-million to launch and about $250-million per year after that. However, not all pilots are expected to participate, so the ultimate costs are likely to be lower.

    Loy said a recent review by the TSA has concluded that pilots should be individually responsible for their guns and should carry them to and from the aircraft in lockboxes. The alternative -- having the guns stored in planes and maintained by airline employees -- poses greater security risks, he said.

    Loy said the pilots should get extensive training in how to use the guns. The training must specify when the guns can be used and how to coordinate with federal air marshals. It should involve simulated aircraft, such as the ones used by air marshals at their training center in Atlantic City, N.J.

    Among the other issues mentioned by Loy:

    Cockpits will need to be modified with special sleeves "to allow ready access" to the guns.

    The federal program could clash with gun laws in other countries. "Pilots flying international routes for a U.S. carrier must comply with gun control laws abroad," he wrote.

    The government will have to hire many new employees to oversee a gun program. "A worldwide program of this size would require sizable staff and support." He said the TSA's current budget "does not allow for further work in this area, which raises the question of who will bear the cost of this potentially expensive program."

    The airlines have also opposed the program.

    In a letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta this week, executives from the major airlines called the gun program "ill-advised" unless the government does a thorough study of the possible consequences.

    The airline chiefs said that until questions about money, logistics and training can be resolved, the deployment of guns "raises a serious and unnecessary risk for both passengers and crew members."

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