• Short Summary

    Sky marshall with orders to shoot if necessary were assigned on Saturday ( 12 September ) to travel on U.

  • Description

    GV INTERIOR..Press conference, Aide speaks

    SV Press listen

    CI Aide speaking

    TRANSCRIPT: JOHN FLANAGAN: "Ladies and gentlemen; you have the statement by the President, setting forth the programme that he has undertaken to inhibit further hi-jacking of U.S. airlines. As you note there are two parts to this programme. The first is to place armed guards on U.S. carriers. These guards, will begin their duty tomorrow. The initial contingent has been recruited from trained Federal security personnel. They will be supplemented in the near future by very carefully chosen members of the armed forces. The F.A.A. will in time, starting immediately, train its own force of civilian guards to perform this duty. These people will be travelling on domestic and international flights, there will be no details beyond what is in the statement with regard to this force. I am sure you all understand that the nature of force, their training, the number, the distribution among flight, all must be kept confidential in order to increase the effectiveness of this action. The second area of the programme has to do with surveillance. That is, surveillance of both personnel going on airlines as passengers, and surveillance of baggage and air freight. As I'm sure you know, there is already a programme of this type of surveillance in effect. It's run by the F.A.A., and Mr. Schaefer can give you the details. It has been effective in those areas where it has been in operation. It is part of this programme, on an expedited basis to spread that surveillance to all the gateway airports in this country, and to other airports here, and where arrangements can be made with foreign host countries, to airports abroad. The state department is confident that they can work out arrangements to put this surveillance programme into effect abroad."

    Initials CM/AS/PS CM/AS/ES

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Sky marshall with orders to shoot if necessary were assigned on Saturday ( 12 September ) to travel on U.S. commercial aircraft.

    White House aide Peter Flanagan and Mr. John Schaefer, Administrator of the Federation of American airlines, introduced the plan on Friday ( 11 September ) during a press conference at Kennedy Airport, New York.

    Top secrecy surrounded the anti-hijacking plan put into effect on President Nixon's orders, and accepted - in some cases reluctantly, by the airlines.

    Mr. James Ewing of Delta airlines, one of the country's largest domestic airline carriers, was one of the objectors.

    But U.S. officials said the sky marshall, who will keep their identity secret from their fellow passengers, will be effective because they are highly trained, federal agents whose mission will not endanger aircraft in flight.

    The officials appear to have won over the air-line pilots in the United States to accept the plan. Originally they opposed the idea of armed guards travelling on their aircraft.

    The cost of the sky-marshall plan is to be borne by the airlines, the travelling public, and the general taxpayer in the United States. Another measure to be used against hi-jackers is an electro-magnetic screening device which will effectively detect hidden weapons. The United States Government will also call on other nations to ostracise those Governments who do not penalise hijackers.

    White House aide Flanagan emphasised during the Press Conference that it was not true that a pressurised aircraft automatically faces disaster if a bullet pierces its skin. He said there was no substantial danger of de-pressurisation from such a shot.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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