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Friday, February 22, 2008

Israel issues hijack alert

The Israeli government has issued a hijack alert for all airlines - foreign and domestic - flying into and out of Israel, out of fear that Hezbullah will try to avenge the death of Imad Fayez Mugniyah - which it blames on Israel - by hijacking a plane on its way here and forcing the pilot to crash it in a 9/11 type of attack.
Danny Shenar, head of security at the Transportation Ministry, has ordered all foreign and local airlines landing in Israel to require from passengers to remain seated half-an-hour before landing, when flights approach a distance of 180 miles from the country's shores.

Until now, passengers have only been instructed to return to their seats at a distance of some 90 miles from Israel (15 minutes before landing).

Furthermore, airlines have also been asked to instruct their pilots to seal the cockpit 30 minutes before landing, so as not to allow terrorists to take control of the plane.

Transportation Ministry officials explained that the new decree has been issued in light of fears that terrorists might succeed in infiltrating a plane, and attempt to take control over the aircraft only in the final stage of the flight, after it has reached Israeli airspace.

A hijacking at this stage would make it difficult for security forces to respond in time to curb the attack.

"It takes several minutes to deploy fighter jets towards a hijacked plane," an aviation security expert explained. "Therefore, the final stage of the flight is extremely crucial."

The new procedure is aimed at providing the aircrew with an additional 15 minutes to notify air controllers on the ground about an emergency on board.
I hope they are also tightening up security at departure airports for flights coming here. If you fly El Al, they have their own security, but if you come in here on any other airline, you get the airport's security. In some airports, El Al does not trust the security and insists that transferring passengers go and reclaim their bags. I've been there and done that many times, especially in London where the El Al security people told me outright that they don't trust Heathrow's security.


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There should be some strict plan and technology to avoid the plain hijacking. We have witnessed some worst hijack incidents in the recent past, which made loss of life's and wealth. Its important to have something impossible to hijack plans...
Mercedes Used Car Parts


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