I am a regular air traveller who has endured the removal of all forms of objects that could be used as a weapon by terrorists, including plastic cutlery. Now weapons are being re-introduced with gun-carrying air marshals.
Their introduction is the perfect gift to any terrorist group. It only has to board the aircraft as passengers and identify the air marshals through martyrdom. I can foresee a situation where one or two air marshals could be overpowered by, say, five terrorists, giving them access to a gun to hijack an aircraft.
I also foresee this situation making air travel less safe as terrorists could now revert to solely acquiring ground-to-air missiles, which will be more difficult to control.
I am a trained commercial pilot and I believe it is better to provide aircrew and cabin staff with training in the art of self-defence, using all means on board an aircraft.
Andrew Winter Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, UK
Source: Flight International