Thursday, November 15, 2001

Delta's Mullin: Show off security

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEW YORK — The head of Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that the airline industry needs to do a better job of showing the public security improvements put in place since the Sept. 11 attacks.

        But chairman and chief executive officer Leo Mullin also said the message has to be put out as a group and that his company won't use that message alone as a way to lure back passengers.

        “This is an aviation industry issue and in no way would we ever choose to advertise our safety record versus someone else's,” Mr. Mullin said in an interview with the Enquirer.

        Strengthening airport and airline security remains a key issue after the attacks, which caused demand for air travel to plummet.

        Mr. Mullin said the public needs to be made aware that the industry has already fortified cockpit doors to help prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11 hijackings. In addition, Mr. Mullin pointed out:

        • The federal government has beefed up the air marshal program.

        • Carriers have intensified airplane security sweeps and made it even more difficult to gain access to a plane of the ground.

        • There has been an increased use of the Computer Assisted Passenger Profiling System to screen for potential terrorists or criminals.

        Mr. Mullin said he was against a program that would match bags with passengers, preferring to rely on electronic baggage screening.

        He said implementing a bag-match program, which would call for the removal of a piece of luggage if the passenger is not on board, would add to the reduction in air service already seen as a result of the attacks.


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