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An airline pilot attitude evaluation: transportation security administration's federal flight deck officer program

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The Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program was mandated legislatively, as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This study replicated earlier research that investigated pilots’ opinions of the current state of the FFDO program based on interviews. A

The Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program was mandated legislatively, as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. This study replicated earlier research that investigated pilots’ opinions of the current state of the FFDO program based on interviews. A Likert survey was created to allow simpler quantitative collection and analysis of opinions from large groups of pilots. A total of 43 airline pilots participated in this study. Responses to the Likert questions were compared with demographics, searching for significance through a Pearson chi-square test and frequencies were compared to earlier research findings. Significant chi-square results showed that those familiar with the program were more likely to agree the program should continue, it was effective, the screening and selection process of program applicants was adequate and the Federal Air Marshal Service’s management of the FFDO program was effective. Those with Military experience were more likely to disagree it was reasonable that FFDOs were required to pay for their own room and board during training or train on their own time. All those who shared an opinion agreed there should be a suggestion medium between FFDOs and their management. Unlike the prior study, all those familiar with the program agreed the weapons transportation and carriage procedures were adequate. Furthermore, all those who shared an opinion found the holster locking mechanism adequate, which was another reversal of opinion from the prior study. Similar to the prior study, pilots unanimously agree FFDOs were well trained and agreed that the program was effective and should continue.

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2017