The U.S. government will require international air carriers in some cases to place armed law enforcement officers on flights over the United States, the Associated Press reports. The Homeland Security Department said the move will further enhance security on commercial and cargo aircraft. “We are asking international air carriers to take this protective action as part of our ongoing effort to make air travel safe for Americans and visitors alike,” Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said.
Homeland Security spokesman Dennis Murphy said the move will apply to flights “based on specific information” whenever it surfaces. “We will then notify the carrier that based on information we received, we require a law enforcement officer to be on the plane,” he said said. The directive assumes that armed officers from the country of the airline’s ownership would be aboard.