The new aircraft will seem more like a maximum security prison than a commercial airplane.
However it will guarantee passengers peace of mind and security.
Tests have begun already and researchers say the aircraft will be fully operational by the end of 2008.
The project is a collaboration between BAe Systems, Airbus and European Commission and it will be named “Security of Aircraft in the Future European Environment”
The reasons behind this project are the events of September 11th 2001 and its purpose is to prevent something similar from happening again. This type of aircraft will be equipped with systems which will automatically avoid impact with a building and would allow the aircraft to be piloted from the ground in case the pilots loose control. At the same time iris scanners will allow access to the flight-deck, only to authorized personnel.
During boarding there will be a machine that will detect explosives and bags will be equipped with a chip that will authenticate the baggage and eliminate the possibility of anyone switching the bags.
In the cock-pit and on the flight controls there will be “biometric” sensors which will detect “foreign hands” and will engage the “remote ground piloting” system. To avoid the classic hijacking, of a pilot with a gun to his head, the aircraft will have a “super” auto-pilot which will avoid collision with other aircrafts or buildings, regardless of the manual input from the person at the controls.
Passengers will however be monitored non-stop by a system which will identify suspect movements and will neutralize terrorists before they can take action. Microphones will be used to intercept phone calls.
The experts plan to install video cameras in the lavatories however this already caused some criticisms, because nobody wants to be the protagonist of a “reality-show” every time he or she goes to the bathroom. Designers were quick to respond to that that the lavatories are an ideal place to prepare an act or a hijacking. They’ve also added that after every landing the recordings will be destroyed.
This will make it very clear that the price for security will be a total invasion of privacy. The fact that every passenger will be monitored through a system of hidden cameras, microphones and every movement and word will be analyzed has stirred some heated debates.
Say Goodbye to cheap travel
With the introduction of the “armored” plane, the term “low-cost” will cease to exist. The new electronic enhancements are expensive, a thing that may prove fatal for small companies which will have to pick between significantly increasing their ticket price or bankruptcy. A solution to this problem could bring a crisis in the aviation industry.