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How well protected is ATC from a terrorist attack?

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posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:20 AM
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Ive been thinking about this for a while. Lets say a group of terrorists want to blow up planes, well instead of boarding planes why couldnt they take over air traffic control?

What if 30 terrorists armed with machine guns and grenades took controllers hostage and ordered each controller at gunpoint to put planes on a collision course. There would be hundreds of mid air collisions over the United States.

Is this possible or would it be too difficult to carry out?




posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:35 AM
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I know 2 ATC's and i think both of them would tell amy terrorists to go shove it, that is if they noteiced they were in the tower to begin with.

Both of the guys I know are compete jerks and I,m pretty sure it's the job that made them that way.ATC is the MOST stressfull job ever according to many studies.

On top of that I,m pretty sure the pilots would know something was up as they can all hear whats being said to all the others in their zone....



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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I'm not sure how they work, but there are measures against this kind of thing.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:41 AM
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It would be virtually impossible to direct planes to hit each other anyway. The chance of those relatively small objects meeting each other, especially when the pilots don't want a mid-air collision, are very slim. And tilokes point about pilots being able to hear all radio transmissions also true, if they are on the frequency.

I'd be more worried about terrorists being allowed a commercial pilots job. I wonder what screening methods they have put in place?



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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To many failsafes from WWII attempts at this very thing.
You'd be amazed how many saboteurs there were.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 11:48 AM
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posted by bothered

“ . . You'd be amazed how many saboteurs there were. [Edited by Don W]


Most of the control towers built in the last 10 yeas or so look a lot like the WW2 Flak Towers guarding Berlin. Impregnable!

Any place can be breached, for sure, but I imagine there is a quick response team ready to defend a Control Tower under serge. Plus, I’d hope that with modern electronic technology, a tower at say Atlanta, could be operated out of Charlotte, via fiber optics and satellite telephones, if necessary.



[edit on 8/20/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by donwhite



posted by bothered

“ . . You'd be amazed how many saboteurs there were. [Edited by Don W]

Any place can be breached, for sure, but I imagine there is a quick response team ready to defend a Control Tower under serge. Plus, I’d hope that with modern electronic technology, a tower at say Atlanta, could be operated out of Charlotte, via fiber optics and satellite telephones, if necessary.


Actually, since 9/11, this has been a consideration. There is a contigency force in most areas. Others have trained personnel authorized to use deadly force.
Plus, the transponder issue has been resolved and collisions are unlikely.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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posted by bothered

Since 9/11, this has been a consideration. There is a contingency force in most areas. Others have trained personnel authorized to use deadly force. Plus, the transponder issue has been resolved and collisions are unlikely. [Edited by Don W]


Many times there is a Air NG unit and sometimes an Army NG unit at or very near the airport. I’m a long time away from the Army NG but I’d assume there would be a plan and maybe some dry runs on defending the Tower and other essential parts of a major airport. Well, any airport. Plus, of course, the local PD and their SWAT teams should be on 30 minute call.

You made passing reference to saboteurs in an earlier post but I have not asked you about that. Are you referring to WW2? There was just a History Channel report on the blowing up of the ammo depot near New York harbor by German agents in WW1.

I’m not aware of any equally magnificent actions by what few Germans were here in WW2. A small number landed in NJ I think, but were given up by one of their own number, who died along with them. I have no regard for J Edgar Hoover who wreaked such harm on the FBI it has not recovered yet. A megalomanic. Plus other bad habits. Like blackmail. And etc.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 06:39 PM
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I recall a show on the History Channel about the American Nazi Party. There were hints they were active in sabotage, but the public was never well informed. Of course, I'm guessing here because I was not around during that time.

I do know we had agents in all Axis countries performing various duties.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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Yep this is undoubtably something that has special attention,and tho we dont read about it ,dont mean theres no measures in place.

Just where does the security stop ?

Its been on Sky news all weekend about the lack of security of inbound flights to the UK and US .......if partner countries are not doing the extra checks then is that a problem ?

The only consolation is that a flight approaching UK or US following its journey will have barely ant fuel left after its journey.
This is what causes the most damage is it not ?



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:05 PM
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i will possibly seeing an atc tomorrow, he has worked both north america and in the uk. so he should know how secure towers are both here and across the pond.

if they arn't secure then there realy needs to be security put into place as i am sure that there is most likely at least several people representing various terrorist groups at least monitering this site along with others, just as there are gov agensies doing the same thing. so even if no terrorist has thought of this before now, we have given them another possible target.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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posted by martin2020

The only consolation is that a flight approaching UK or US following its journey will have barely ant fuel left after its journey. This is what causes the most damage is it not?
[Edited by Don W]


That was the reason given for selecting the 4 hijacked planes of the Nine Eleven Event. All were outbound transcontinental flights, fully laden with JP4.

Actually, I don’t know what fuel commercial jets used in 2001. Once upon a time it was JP4. I think the SR71 used JP7, a highly “oxygenated” variety that sort of carried its own oxygen to run the jet engines at over 30,000 meters straight up.



posted on Aug, 20 2006 @ 08:31 PM
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Following a visit by a pal to an ATC center recently I can say (on second hand knowledge at least) that security in these places is formitable - as he worked with me on MOD sites i can only judge that he means exceeds that we saw on those sites. I would also suggest that - from knowledge of the UK at least - the military is very closely involved in the running of the key control sites - so I would guess nothing short of some all out assult would be required to have any effect.



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