F9Animal
Posts: 3681
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:03 am

Hey all. I have always been curious about inflight security. I just have always been curious about it, and I am glad to know it exists! Anyways, I remember in the early 1990's, Aeroflot flew an IL-86 into LAS. I was told that a guy dressed in a suit was security for Aeroflot, and that he was armed. Can airlines have their own security agents, and posses a firearm in other countries while providing security for their airline? Also, are there International Air Marshall's? In countries outside of the US, do countries have their own Air Marshall's?

In closing, I heard that El Al has one of the strongest security programs. IIRC, a El Al Security agent returned fire on someone in LAX several years ago. Do they have their own armed security?
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mats
Posts: 544
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:17 am

Yes, absolutely.
Other countries have both plain-clothes and uniformed marshals.

Although I've never flown Royal Jordanian, I'm told that one of their security agents stands at the boarding door as passengers embark.

El Al maintains its own security staff (armed and unarmed) on the ground and in the air at every destination. Yes, sadly, a man opened fire on the El Al ticket counter at LAX. This is not the first time there has been such an attack on an El Al counter.

In the US, the Federal Air Marshal program is "secret." Passengers aren't supposed to know who the marshals are, but they're often fairly easy to identify.

I do not know the exact details, but US Federal Air Marshals are not permitted to fly on armed duty to certain countries due to the destination country's regulations about firearms. As I recall Switzerland does not permit armed US marshals. But that situation may have been ironed out through some sort of agreement. It's obviously not public knowledge.
 
eaglepower83
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:25 pm

Is there an air marshall on "every" flight in the US?
We fly A LOT of planes every day. That's gotta be a huge payroll.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:54 pm

Hang on, what about the UK then? What do US Skymarshalls do with their guns when they get to the UK?
 
Lofty
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:32 pm

In the UK a Met police Firearms office will meet the flight and remove any Firearms these are kept safe and only returned when the flight is ready to go.
HMG does not like the idea of other nationals walking around with guns at UK airports.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:21 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 4):
HMG does not like the idea of other nationals walking around with guns at UK airports.

Yes that makes sense, thanks !
 
planesailing
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:02 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 4):
In the UK a Met police Firearms office will meet the flight and remove any Firearms these are kept safe and only returned when the flight is ready to go.
HMG does not like the idea of other nationals walking around with guns at UK airports.

The Police don't take control of the firearms when an aircraft comes in to the UK.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:58 pm

Quoting planesailing (Reply 6):

The Police don't take control of the firearms when an aircraft comes in to the UK.

OK so where do the guns go then?
 
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Aesma
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:19 pm

I don't know if we have such security on French planes, if we do then I guess it's quite secret since I've never heard of it. Would probably be national policemen though, not a special police branch.

I was reading on wikipedia that before 9/11 there were 33 air marshals total, now it's in the thousands !
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skywaymanaz
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:02 am

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 2):
Is there an air marshall on "every" flight in the US?

Nope.

There are a lot more of them after 9/11 but hardly on every flight. They were on every flight into DCA after it reopened but I don't think that lasted long. There have been some minor scandals with them since their numbers ballooned. A memo got leaked out of the Las Vegas office some years back that the air marshalls were not documenting enough serious issues on flights to justify their funding. Suddenly anyone taking a photo was deemed suspicious for make busy work to keep the funds flowing. I tend to suspect that kind of thinking motivates why some items are banned by TSA as well. The more swag they confiscate the more they must be doing their job.
 
Elevated
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:42 am

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 2):
Is there an air marshall on "every" flight in the US?

Just assume they are. This type of information is not public.

I am treating this question the same way someone has asked me in the past in person and I am sure it wont be the last. This is a public forum and is no exception to the rule of "need to know basis" with Security Sensitive Information (SSI).

They can be on any flight in the U.S. and do fly international. What cities and routes is not public information. Aside from FAM program, there are hundreds of other armed individuals on flights all around the country, often and every day and can be seated anywhere in the plane.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:16 am

There are air marshalls on many different planes but far from on every plane. To the contrary youre unlikely to have one on your domestic flight but youll never know for sure. However if sky marshals go overseas they have to surrender any weapons when they arrive at their destinations. This is the case with US air marshalls flying into Europe for example, they are not allowed to carry weapons at the destinations. When they arrive at the destination hand in their weapons and then proceed into the country. Any sky marshall caught with a weapon on foreign soil will be prosecuted and his country would be shamed.
Some airlines actually have safes on board. For example the good old Swissair used to have this.

ElAl and israeli planes in general sees a higher risk and ElAl has their own security requirements. This has meant that ElAl for instance wont fly to ARN since they dont allow ELAL:s staff to carry arms at the designated boarding area.

I have heard Royal Jordanian was a rather interesting case, apparently they had both Israeli and Jordanian security in Bangkok, at least it used to be that way a few years ago. Anyone that took Royal Jordanian from BKK to Amman in the early 2000 realised that the plane was filled with Israelis that just had finished their military training and went off on a holiday afterwards. Thus the usual Jordanian security was complimented by the Israelis in BKK. Sometimes more jews flew on the Royal Jordanian to BKK-Amman than the ELAL BKK-TelAviv and thus the extra security at BKK.
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
 
jcwr56
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:49 pm

Quoting Elevated (Reply 10):
Just assume they are. This type of information is not public.

I am treating this question the same way someone has asked me in the past in person and I am sure it wont be the last. This is a public forum and is no exception to the rule of "need to know basis" with Security Sensitive Information (SSI).

They can be on any flight in the U.S. and do fly international. What cities and routes is not public information. Aside from FAM program, there are hundreds of other armed individuals on flights all around the country, often and every day and can be seated anywhere in the plan

Exactly. The American public is aware of the FAM's program in general but like you said, the details are SSI. However, there can be general talk about the program itself.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:39 pm

Quoting Elevated (Reply 10):
Just assume they are. This type of information is not public.

I am treating this question the same way someone has asked me in the past in person and I am sure it wont be the last. This is a public forum and is no exception to the rule of "need to know basis" with Security Sensitive Information (SSI).

They can be on any flight in the U.S. and do fly international. What cities and routes is not public information. Aside from FAM program, there are hundreds of other armed individuals on flights all around the country, often and every day and can be seated anywhere in the plane.

Very well stated--concise and accurate. I get very nervous when I see security-sensitive information being discussed in an open forum. I have even had passengers come up to me and proudly announce that the person in seat such an such is a FAM. Generally NOT correct but I keep a blank face and politely say that this is not a topic for discussion.

It is sad that we have reached the point in the world order that people like FAMS are necessary but I am always glad to see them. They have an incredibly boring, repetitious job to do and they do it with professionalism and a good sense of humor. I am always impressed with the quality of the people recruited and how seriously they take their responsibilities.

On behalf of pilots, flight attendants and passengers everywhere, thank you for a job well done. You have our respect, support and admiration.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
shuttle9juliet
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:12 pm

RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:42 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 7):

It is UK customs and Border control who arrive in a van and meet the Sky Marshals after the passengers de plane.
I have seen it done at the bottom of the jetty, and vice versa.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:24 am

Planesailing is wrong.

The Guns do NOT enter the UK and are surrendered.
Bullets and firearms are held separately and the Met Police Diplomatic branch along UK Borders are very much involved.
The serial numbers of the firearms are also logged and recorded by UK law enforcement agents.

This particular subject is recurring theme .

Please do a search as answers conjecture and myth populate these forums since about ever !

Personal opinion is Sky Marshall programmes are a waste of time as are locked and secured cabin doors.

If the villains are already aboard its already too bl**dy late !

Security is ground based

[Edited 2013-09-29 02:39:16]
 
F9Animal
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RE: Airline Security And Air Marshalls

Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:23 am

Great info guys! By the way, I totally understand that much of security is top secret. I would never expect anyone to divudge info that is not supposed to be. Like I said, I have always been fascinated and curious about it. I find it even more interesting how it differs in other countries.
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