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Personal Finance > Saving & Spending > Travel
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United, Northwest fix doors
graphic October 22, 2001: 12:44 p.m. ET

Cockpit security improvements complete at two carriers, near end at others.
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore
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  • Airbus sets cockpit door reinforcement - Oct. 17, 2001
  • AMR secures cockpit doors - Oct. 2, 2001
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  • United Airlines
  • Northwest Airlines
  • FAA
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - United Airlines and Northwest Airlines have completed the short-term reinforcement of their fleets' cockpit doors to strengthen them against possible terrorists, and other major carriers expect to complete the alterations within a couple of weeks.

    United, a unit of UAL Corp. (UAL: up $0.46 to $15.23, Research, Estimates), said it completed renovating 611 doors in just over two weeks. The renovation includes safety bars that lock into place on the pilots' side of the door, making it more difficult to kick in.

    On Friday Northwest (NWAC: down $0.01 to $11.54, Research, Estimates) became the first major airline to complete renovating the doors on its fleet.

    Federal Aviation Administration rules previously required that the doors could be kicked open as a safety measure in the event the crew was trapped in a crash, or to keep pressure in the plane equalized if there was rapid depressurization in part of the aircraft. But in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack the FAA changed the rule to allow reinforcement.

    Airlines and aircraft makers were told to submit plans for more permanent changes to the doors' designs to the FAA within six months. About $500 million of federal assistance will be made available for those more permanent renovations, although there is no subsidy for these short-term fixes.

    Most of the carriers, such as Northwest and United, are using bars or more secure locks to try to prevent potential hijackers from entering the cockpit. One smaller airline, JetBlue, said it is also installing bullet-proof material on the back of the door at a cost of $10,000 each on its 18 aircraft.

    AMR Corp. (AMR: up $0.65 to $19.12, Research, Estimates), the world's largest airline company which operates both American Airlines and Trans World Airlines, has completed work on 530 of the 878 jets in its combined fleet, American spokeswoman Sonja Whitemon said. It expects to complete the work within two weeks or less. Continental Airlines (CAL: up $0.49 to $17.19, Research, Estimates), the No. 4 carrier, said last week it had renovated two thirds of its jets and expects to complete work by Tuesday, Oct. 23.

    Other major carriers said in early October they planned to complete work within 30 days, indicating most could be finished by the end of next week. America West Airlines (AWA: up $0.01 to $2.19, Research, Estimates) said Monday it expects to complete the renovations by Nov. 11. graphic

      RELATED STORIES

    Airbus sets cockpit door reinforcement - Oct. 17, 2001

    AMR secures cockpit doors - Oct. 2, 2001

      RELATED LINKS

    United Airlines

    Northwest Airlines

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