In a bid to boost airplane security, Turkey will start deploying undercover police officers in flights, according to a new regulation published yesterday in the Official Gazette.
The regulation, which was tabled by lawmakers four years ago, defines the duties of the "specially trained armed security guards."
At least two armed, plainclothes police officers will be aboard flights as a preventive measure against hijackings and other similar incidents.
The officers will be picked from among police officers who have been in law enforcement for at least five years. They will be assigned after physical endurance and shooting tests. They will also receive special training on aviation jargon, in-flight shooting skills, hostage negotiations and close combat.
Officers will be tasked with dealing with in-flight threats like hijackings, protecting the crew and passengers as well as "returning the airplane's control to its pilots" in case of a hijacking attempt under the regulations. They won't be allowed to intervene in unruly passenger or other situations apart from exceptional cases involving hijacking and threats to other passengers and the crew. Their identities will only be disclosed to the crew members. The Interior Ministry will determine which flights will have police officers onboard.