In response to the recent increase in onboar disturbances, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced policy changes today to include fines of up to $35,000 and potential imprisonment.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order today announcing stiffer penalties for disruptive passengers. The order, which was accompanied by a press release, addresses “sanctions for passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member in the performance of a crewmember’s duties.”
“Flying is the safest mode of transportation and I signed this order to keep it that way,” Administrator Dickson said.FAA Administrator Steven Dickson
In the past, the FAA used civil measures including warnings, and counseling or even penalties, however, as noted in the press release and order, the FAA will now pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who threatens, intimidates, assaults, or otherwise interferes with airline crewmembers.
US travel has seen a notable increase in-flight incidents, often related to passenger unwillingness to wear a face-covering in accordance with airline policy. These incidents are often dramatic, threatening the safety and wellbeing of airline crew. The FAA has seen enough.
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Because the FAA is not a law enforcement arm they cannot themselves institute such action but intend to work closely with law enforcement partners who have appropriate jurisdiction.
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