So far this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received 4,000+ reports of disruptive passengers, 3,199 of which began with a failure to obey mask requirements. The FAA has acted in 162 of those incidents, proposing penalties totaling more than $1 million.
In June, a coalition of industry stakeholders, including A4A and key aviation labor unions, urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to “guarantee that egregious onboard conduct is adequately and legally punished, conveying a strong public message of deterrence, safety, and security.”
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson implemented a zero-tolerance policy for disruptive passengers on aircraft in January. However, the frequency of events involving cabin employees and other visitors being harassed, intimidated, sexually abused, and, in some cases, physically assaulted has increased.
In the face of rapidly growing airline passenger disruptions and disturbances, the FAA seeks to impelement very strict measures of dealing with such instances. FAA had earlier met with airline trade organizations in September, asking them to “commit to taking further action” to address escalating incidences of disruptive or violent passenger behavior.
In September, the FAA had also requested aviation groups including Airlines for America and the Regional Airline Association, to list the measures they plan to take in order reduce unpleasant events, and submit the same to FAA. The FAA is stepping up its efforts to curb this growing menace as it could threaten the safety of everyone aboard flights, including other passengers and cabin crew.
The FAA also added that it “believes additional action by the airlines and all aviation stakeholders is necessary to stop the unsafe behavior.”