U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) says the United States should equip commercial aircraft with technology to counter portable, man-held missiles that terrorists may use from the ground. "Al Qaeda terrorists have targeted commercial aircraft with these weapons in the past and I am concerned they may do so again in the future," the senator said in a news release issued Tuesday, Jan. 35.
"I support a comprehensive response to the MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense System) threat," Boxer said.
"That is why I have pushed legislative efforts to place countermeasures on commercial aircraft, improve airport perimeter security, fund programs to buy back, secure and destroy MANPADS in the inventories of foreign nations, and encourage multilateral actions to prevent the proliferation of MANPADS throughout the world.
"The cost of installing and operating countermeasures on commercial aircraft is a fraction of what we spend on a Ballistic Missile Defense System that has not been proven to work. In comparison, countermeasure systems to defend against MANPADS are being used right now on military aircraft."