American Trans Air, Chautauqua Airlines To Add Cameras


American Trans Air (ATA) and Chautauqua Airlines have been awarded nearly $700,000 in grants by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ATA has been granted $414,000 by the FAA to install cameras and other safety alert systems in its aircraft. Four planes are likely to be outfitted initially. Chautauqua received a grant for $263,000 from the FAA for similar safety measures. The carrier will place cameras aboard an unspecified number of its regional jets. “It’s an outstanding tool, simply because it will give us more information, and the more information the better decisions we can make. It’s a good safety feature,” says ATA pilot Matt Ellis, who flies Boeing 737s. The system is intended to allow pilots such as Ellis to view the cabin via a screen, much like that of a laptop computer, mounted in the cockpit. Cost is expected to run approximately $100,000 per plane, but that amount is expected to shrink to $60,000 per plane once nonrecurring costs are subtracted. Ed Duchnowski, vice president for safety and security at ATA, says, “People might be less prone to carry on if they know it’s possible they could be monitored doing it. We don’t want our flight crews going back into the cabin to deal with an unruly passenger.”

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