The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced yesterday that it will crack down on boisterous airline passengers, including those who fail to comply with federal mask requirements, after receiving more than 500 reports of ill-mannered passengers since December.
The number of cases we’re seeing is still too high, which tells us that urgent action is still needed, said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, according to CNN.
Following the riots outside the Capitol in January, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stepped up its efforts to impose legal consequences on passengers who disrupt order. In the days following the incident, numerous instances of unruly, disruptive and threatening behavior by Trump supporters on planes made it clear that authorities needed to intervene.
Several mobsters arrested on the 6th. Janvier stormed the U.S. Capitol, couldn’t fly home from Washington, D.C., prompting the FBI to put them on the TSA no-fly list.
The FAA’s strict enforcement policy was set to expire at the end of March, but will now remain in effect until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rescinds its order requiring all people to wear face masks when using public or commercial transportation.
Dixon said he has asked agency officials to impose civil fines or criminal charges for unruly passengers.
I have decided to extend the FAA’s zero tolerance policy as we continue to do everything in our power to combat the pandemic, Dixon said in a statement. This policy directs our safety inspectors and attorneys to take strict action against any passenger who violates or endangers flight safety, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment.
The Federal Aviation Administration stated that it is currently handling 450 cases of passenger misconduct and has prosecuted 20 of them.
At least four pilots have been fined under the FAA’s comprehensive policy, with the highest fine being $27,500. In addition to the mask violation, those already fined were accused of assaulting flight attendants, shouting obscenities and consuming illegal alcohol during the flight.
Sarah Nelson, president of the Airline Flight Attendant Association, called the FAA’s comprehensive policy an important deterrent. The flight attendants’ union, which represents them, has asked for this policy to be extended.
The confusing and politically biased discussion around masks has led to confusion and conflict, Nelson said. We don’t have time to miss the mandate of the federal mask. On an airplane, such behavior puts everyone at risk, and we cannot tolerate that.
Any sanctions imposed by the FAA are separate from any sanctions that TSA may impose under its own security policies.
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