State media said China will deploy 1,400 armed air marshals on passenger flights from October 1. China first considered deploying air marshals after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. Reports said marshals will be uniformed and non-uniformed. One airline official said their key job will be preventing unauthorized people breaking into flight decks, and to ï¿½stop common passengers entering the first-class cabin." China Southern Airlines, China's biggest carrier, will have 576 air marshals; China Eastern 469; and Air China 399 ï¿½ all deployed in the first batch of 1,400. Most marshals have been recruited from the ranks of airline security forces. In May 2002, a cancer patient started a fire on a plane in an apparent suicide attempt that ended in a crash killing all 103 aboard.