Please convince us that our worries about the UK Government policy, or lack thereof, regarding the use of undercover armed Sky Marshals on UK airliners are unfounded
UK Sky Marshal policy worries
We have worries about the UK Government policy on Sky Marshals. Please feel free to email us and convince us that our worries are unjustified:
What is a Sky Marshal ?
The USA introduced undercover armed guards on internal US flights in the 1960s when there were numerous hijackings of aircraft to Cuba, and virtually no metal detector checks at most US airports, a situtation which did not change until the 1990s.
Has the UK Government consulted properly with UK Air Line Pilots ?
No, c.f. the British Air Line Pilots Association www.balpa.org
Has the UK Government consulted properly with the UK public ?
Not at all - We Know What Is Best For You.
What is the additional risk to passengers post September 11th 2001, that the introduction of Sky Marshals now, over 2 years later, would reduce ?
How many trained Sky Marshals are there ?
The USA had about 400 pre-September 11th 2001, with many more now. The UK has less than 20 being trained at the moment.
So there is going to be at least one Sky Marshal per flight then ?
How may of them are there on UK aeroplanes ?
Hopefully none, but who really knows ?
Why is one Sky Marshal more effective than a Special Forces assault squad with stun grenades and sub machine guns ?
They are not.
What are they armed with then ?
Revolvers with 6 shots and low velocity ammunition.
How do Sky Marshals stay awake and alert throughout long flights ?
Drugs ? Just like the US Airforce pilots who keep shooting their British and Canadian allies in "Blue on Blue" "friendly fire" incidents.
They could not have.
Is there a risk of a Sky Marshal going beserk ?
Ex-Military and ex-Police Officers have a much higher than average risk of suicide by use of firearms than normal. The current bunch of Sky Marshals may be sane, but if the number is massively expanded, the risk increases.
Is there a risk that a Sky Marshal will shoot a disruptive "air rage" passenger , who would normally be subdued by the cabin crew and other passengers ?
Who is legally liable for any risk to health, injury or death caused by a Sky Marshal ?
Nobody is discussing this in the media.
Do Sky Marshals have carte blanche immunity against prosecution ?
How are cabin crews meant to authenticate the credentials of a real Sky Marshal ?
Have there been cases of people impersonating Sky Marshals ?
Are Sky Marshals meant to operate "undercover" in secret from the flight and cabin crew ?
What if the alert cabin crew or passengers detect an "undercover" Sky Marshal, inform the flight crew, who then issue a terrorist alert and make an emergency landing etc. Who pays ?
Ultimately, airline passengers.
Have there been cases of "successful" hijacks where there were Sky Marshals aboard ?
Have there been cases where Sky Marshals have been identified and shot by hijackers with their own weapons ?
Have there been cases of sexual harassment of cabin crews by Sky Marshals ?
Would you feel safer knowing that there might be a single Sky Marshal aboard your flight ?
Would you feel safer knowing that there might be multiple Sky Marshals aboard your flight ?
Would you feel safer knowing that there definately is a single Sky Marshal aboard your flight ?
Would you feel safer knowing that there definately are multiple Sky Marshals aboard your flight ?
After having your baggage and yourself searched and your documents scrutinised, would you prefer to fly without any guns on board the aeroplane ?
Are armed Sky Marshal trained bodyguards to be allowed on to aeroplanes to protect rich or self-important people ?
Probably not at the moment, but who knows for sure ?
Would you be happy to be used as bait in a terrorists versus Sky Marshal in-flight shoot out ?
Should US Sky Marshals be allowed to operate on UK airliners ?
If it is deemed that a Sky Marshal is needed on a particular flight, does that mean that all the passengers and crew are being logged as "potential terrorist hijackers" through "guilt by association" in the security bureaucracies' computerised databases ?
If there is specific intelligence warning of a threat to a particular flight, would you prefer the flight to be cancelled ?