International Pilots' Group Wary of Israel's Anti-hijacking System

New Code Positive ID for commercial planes will warn of possible hijackings before landing at Ben-Gurion.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations is wary of adopting Israel's new Code Positive identification for commercial airplanes, which will warn of possible hijackings before the plane lands at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

IFALPA discussed the new security technology at its annual conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, last month, and qualms were evident.

Code Positive was developed by Elbit Systems and provides an electronic smart card to each pilot, who uses the card and its codes to identify himself to a special control center before landing.

The IFALPA, the International Air Transport Association and the Israel Air Line Pilots Associations all object to using the system, even though five airlines have already started using Code Positive last month.

The head of the Israeli association, Capt Boaz Hativa of El Al, sent out a confidential report on the discussion to Israeli airline pilots before the Passover holiday. He said the IFALPA felt the system had little security value, if any, and created a long list of other problems, both in regards to security and flight safety.

"In addition, it raises a serious possibility that in an extreme case, use of the system could bring about the shooting down of an innocent plane and its passengers," wrote Hativa.