Frequently Asked Questions in Response to the Resumption of Commercial Air Service
Sept. 14, 2001

< edited > The full list of questions are at www.faa.gov .

When should I arrive for my flight? Call the airline in advance to see how much time you should allow. You will need plenty of time to go through all the additional security that will be required.

What do I do if I have an electronic ticket? You should call the airline in advance. Only ticketed passengers with photo IDs will be allowed beyond the security checkpoint. Within certain guidelines, the airlines will determine what ticket documentation (tickets, boarding passes or reservation confirmations) their screeners will allow, so you should check with the airline in advance if you have an electronic ticket.

Will I be allowed to meet an arriving passenger at the gate? No one without a ticket will be allowed beyond the security checkpoint. Provisions will be made for parents who need to meet unaccompanied minors, for disabled persons and persons with special needs who need to be accompanied by healthcare assistants or guardians, and for medical personnel who need to respond to a medical emergency beyond the checkpoint.

If I donít have a bag to check, do I need to check in at the ticket counter? If you already have a ticket, you may proceed through the security checkpoint to the gate.

Are general aviation aircraft being allowed to fly now? For now, general aviation craft are still not allowed to fly. The Department of Transportation expects to have more information on the status of general aviation flights later today (Sept. 13).

Can I carry my pocket knife on board? No knives or cutting instruments of any size or material will be allowed in the aircraft cabin. Knives may be transported only in checked baggage. Airlines will no longer provide steak knives for on-board food service.

What new security will I notice at the airports?

Will armed officers be put on flights? Yes, FAA Federal Air Marshals who are armed and trained in the use of firearms on board aircraft will be flying anonymously. Federal Air Marshals are FAA civil aviation security specialists who are specially trained for deployment on anti-hijacking missions. The FAA will not reveal the number or identities of the marshals. The DOT is working with the Department of Defense to see if other highly trained agents may be deployed to augment the Federal Air Marshal force.

Will the government be taking over the security screener workforce? We are looking at every aspect of security now for possible improvements. The FAA already has a rule pending expected to go final this month that will give the agency direct oversight of screening companies and impose new rigorous standards for training and testing of screeners. The rule will also require the use of new software FAA is deploying that will monitor how well each screener is doing at detecting dangerous objects. Under the new rule, screening companies whose screeners fail to meet FAA detection standards can lose their FAA certification to perform security at the airports.

Are you going to require hijacking training for pilots and flight attendants? We already require the entire flight crew to undergo initial hijacking training, and annual recurrent training. We do not detail what this training encompasses for obvious security reasons. Whether this training will change in any way, we donít know at this time, but weíre looking at everything for lessons we can learn.