WASHINGTON — FAA finalizes rule for secondary cockpit barriers on new passenger planes.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has enacted a regulation necessitating "secondary" cockpit barriers in new passenger planes, an effort to more effectively deter passengers from breaching the cockpit.

The FAA announced on June 14 that aircraft manufacturers are mandated to install secondary barriers on commercial aircraft produced after the implementation of the regulation.

The new secondary barriers will "enhance the safety of aircraft, flight crew, and air passengers" by shielding the cockpits "when the flight deck door is open," according to the FAA.

The regulation will be effective in 60 days.

The provision modifies US air carrier operating guidelines and aircraft certification regulations to mandate that aircraft manufactured two years post the rule's enforcement - which would be approximately mid-August 2025 - must be equipped with these devices.

The barriers are designed to offer an added layer of safety during instances when pilots leave or enter cockpits during a flight.

The rule notes that the flight deck could be susceptible to attack during periods when the flight deck door needs to be opened for lavatory breaks, meal service, or crew changes. This rule aims to delay such an attack sufficiently to allow the flight deck door to be shut and locked before an attacker could reach the flight deck.

The new cockpit barriers must withstand a forward load of 272kg (600lb), an aft load of 463kg, and delay a person's entry into the cockpit by a minimum of 5 seconds.

The pilot union ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) supports the rule, calling the requirement "long overdue".

The FAA was directed to require secondary barriers by a 2018 law passed by the US Congress. The FAA proposed the rule in August 2022.