David Boyce (Flight International,9-15 July) is rightfully concerned about the locking of the cockpit door on board aircraft post-11 September. However, I feel I must at least defend British Airways on this point in that shortly after that tragic day a locked cockpit door policy was introduced.

This was further backed up with the introduction of a reinforced door with a three-point deadlock and procedures detailing when and how the door may be opened - for essential access only.

In time I think everyone would agree that a fully isolated cockpit should entirely rule out the possibility of a repeat of 11 September, but until issues of crew resource management, pilot incapacitation and serving the physiological needs of the pilots behind a locked cockpit door are resolved, any hastily introduced procedures could present an increased safety risk.

I do not think that comparisons with train and bus drivers are at all helpful.

On a more serious note, British Airways takes a very dim view on any abuse of the implemented procedures, and I would ask David Boyce to refresh his memory on which services he has experienced problems.

Toby Joiner

Isleworth, UK

Source: Flight International