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NY lawmakers push for airline safety devices

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 28, 2014 at 9:04 am •  Published: July 28, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two U.S. legislators are urging the government to study whether American passenger jets should be equipped with devices protecting them against missiles like the one that brought down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine and projectiles fired near Tel Aviv's airport.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Steve Israel on Sunday asked the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration to consider technologies that would shield commercial aircraft.

A government study should include specific recommendations on the best technology needed to combat both shoulder-fired and surface-to-air missiles, they said. Anti-missile devices include onboard lasers, warning systems, flares and infrared countermeasure systems, costing from $1 to $2 million per plane, Schumer and Israel said.

The Democratic lawmakers say two major mishaps have raised red flags that require a quick study of defense technologies.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on July 17 by what U.S. officials believe may have been a Russian-made surface-to-air missile fired by separatists in Eastern Ukraine. All 298 people aboard died. And last week, the FAA banned American flights to Israel after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.

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