Airplane cockpit doors have access codes these days. The idea is to prevent unauthorized people from entering the cockpit and possibly putting the passengers at risk.
That is all well and good unless those codes got out. United pilots were alerted recently that access codes to cockpit doors had been accidentally posted online by a flight attendant. Yeah, that could be a problem.
United Continental Holdings, which owns United Airlines and United Express, told pilots to follow existing security procedures that include visually confirming a person’s identity before allowing them access to the flight deck even if they’ve entered the correct access code. Since this wasn’t due to a hack or a cyberattack and was entirely down to human error, it isn’t as big of a deal as it could have been.
The Air Line Pilots Association told the Wall Street Journal that the problem has been fixed so those leaked cockpit door access codes are not something that passengers should be worried about any longer. The Association has previously called on airlines for additional safety measures that include installing steel cables on cockpit doors to make it harder to break into the flight deck, but airlines feel that this isn’t something that’s necessary right now. Either way, they have to do a better job at keeping codes secret.
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