The US Federal Aviation Administration is giving airlines 60 days to put in place new video and audio security protocols to be used when opening cockpit doors in flight as well as for "discreetly" notifying the flightcrew of "suspicious activity or security breaches in the cabin".

Though the agency had originally suggested a six-month compliance period when the rule was proposed in September 2005, the final rule, published last week, contained a grace period to just two months.

That is because reinforced cockpit doors, which were required to be installed in April 2003, already have a "peephole" that meets the visual verification intent of the rule, says the FAA, and further, airlines are already required to use audio verification procedures before opening the flightdeck door and that carriers "should" already have approved audio methods for notifying the flightcrew of problems in the cabin.

Source: Flight International