WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) announced a significant victory for aviation safety. Provisions from his Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act, were included in the bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, which passed the House today with overwhelming support. Additionally, Senator Bob Casey sponsored companion legislation which passed in the Senate last week.

The bill includes Sec. 350, language from the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act, which mandates the installation of secondary cockpit barriers in all commercial passenger aircraft, thereby ensuring the safety of Americans while fortifying our defenses against potential terrorist attacks similar to 9/11. This pivotal legislation has successfully passed in both chambers and now will be signed into law by the President.

The Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act was named in honor of Congressman Fitzpatrick’s constituent, Captain Victor Saracini, who tragically lost his life when his plane was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.

Since taking office, Congressman Fitzpatrick has been steadfast in his mission, working alongside Captain Saracini’s widow, Ellen, to enhance the security of our skies and aircraft for pilots, flight crews, and passengers. While the previous FAA Reauthorization legislation in 2018 included Fitzpatrick's amendment requiring all newly manufactured aircraft to install a secondary barrier, obstacles from the aviation industry impeded the retrofitting of existing aircraft fleets with this essential safety feature. Undeterred, Fitzpatrick and Ellen remained persistent in their pursuit to ensure all aircraft fleets, both currently in service and newly manufactured, are held to the same safety standards. Today's victory is a culmination of their shared determination and safeguards our skies for current and future generations of Americans.  

“This victory stands as a significant milestone in improving aviation safety while honoring the legacy of Captain Victor Saracini and all the American heroes we tragically lost on September 11th,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I am profoundly grateful for Ellen's resilience and unwavering dedication to being an unrelenting champion for air safety and for the support of Senator Casey and my colleagues in our ongoing initiative to safeguard our skies. For years, we have fought together to ensure the horrific events of 9/11 are never able to happen again, and today marks a pivotal advancement in fulfilling that critical mission. We celebrate this step forward and look forward to continuing our work to further fortify the safety of our skies.”

“Twenty-three years after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Congress has finally enacted a requirement for secondary cockpit barriers to be installed on all passenger aircraft operating in the United States", said Ellen Saracini, widow of Captain Victor Saracini of United Flight 175. “Reaching this milestone, after a long journey of advocacy and lobbying efforts in the honor and memory of Vic, leaves me feeling relieved but also somewhat sad that it has taken so long for the wheels of Congress to finally move in the right direction. I am grateful that my friend and Congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick, has never given up on our pursuit to get the Saracini Enhanced Aviation Safety Act across the finish line. While our work to ensure implementation of the law and installation of the barriers will continue, I applaud the House of Representatives for prioritizing this bipartisan, commonsense measure to finally secure the safety of our skies for future generations. So much was taken from us on that fateful day, but we can rest assured that very soon this type of murderous terror will not be possible on U.S. aircraft."

“For the first time, all passenger planes in the U.S. will have secondary barriers to keep Americans safe from the threat of hijacking,” said Senator Bob Casey. “I fought to pass this legislation to honor Captain Victor Saracini’s memory and make air travel safer for the millions of passengers, pilots and crew members who rely on it. Today, Congress rose to the challenge to make our planes safer and more secure for all.”

Watch Congressman Fitzpatrick and Ellen Saracini immediately after the House vote here.