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Sunday, July 20, 2008

American Airlines: Anti-missile system 'too expensive'

In November 2002, al-Qaeda terrorists shot a handheld missile at an Israeli charter jet taking off from Kenya. The missile just missed and hundreds of lives were saved.

As a result, in February 2006, Israel announced that all of its commercial aircraft have been equipped with anti-missile systems.
El Al Israel Airlines has installed anti-missiles systems on its passenger aircraft, completing an overhaul launched after a 2002 attempt to shoot down a plane, security sources said on Wednesday.

They said the "Flight Guard", an Israeli-made system costing around $1 million per unit, was operational on the entire El Al fleet. It was not immediately clear if this applied to five planes leased by El Al as well as its own 29 aircraft.

El Al, Israel's national carrier and largest airline, declined to comment, saying it did not discuss security issues.

There has been talk ever since of US airlines adopting the Flight Guard system, and the system is currently being tested on three airplanes - all of which belong to American Airlines. But American says it is 'philosophically opposed' to installing the system. Reason? Its cost. The cost would be covered by a $1 per ticket surcharge on coast-to-coast flights. But in an age in which it is charging for each checked bag on domestic flights, American doesn't want to add the $1.

Let's go to the videotape (which by the way, includes footage of how Flight Guard works that I doubt would ever be shown in Israel).

You would think that after 9/11, American and United would be the first to adopt this system. Sadly, that doesn't look likely.


At 2:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It would take shooting down just one airplane to compel the airlines to do it.

At 12:59 AM, Blogger chaoticsynapticactivity said...

You can bet a large number od lawyers are filing this new report right now...you know, to show culpability when it does happen.

I guess the airlines aren't that broke, or hiring new lawyers right out of school.

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I wouldn't want to be on that airliner. Would you?


I would suggest that any tort lawyer could make a great case where they are charging for checking bags and for snacks on domestic flights and refuse to impose a $1 surcharge to pay for something that will prevent the plane from being shot down.

Res ipsa loquitor.

At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there already legal clauses on the back of tickets that disavows an airline's responsibility for acts of terror which it did not actively (versus passively, as in this case) contribute to?


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