- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2002

PARIS (Agence France-Presse) European jet maker Airbus is looking at a plan to conceal tiny cameras in the light fixtures above passenger seats to help flight crews spot hijackers before they strike, New Scientist says.
The idea is part of the airline industry's attempts to beef up onboard security in the wake of September 11, the British weekly says in its next issue, to be published Saturday.
The tiny monitor can work in ambient light and also in darkness, thanks to infrared sensors. Black-and-white images would be fed to the cockpit via the cables used to distribute pictures to seat-back video screens.
Only some light fixtures will be fitted with the tiny cameras, but potential attackers will not know which ones, New Scientist says.
Airbus is already installing a less-ambitious system on its new planes, installing three overhead cameras with wide-angle lenses that give a view of the area directly behind the cockpit door.
U.S. airlines are already considering in-flight monitoring of passengers to thwart hijackings. No-frills carrier JetBlue reportedly has started to equip all of its 24 planes with video cameras.


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