Airlines for America reiterated its stance on Wednesday in the name of health and safety following the Federal Aviation Administration’s new national policy, which details higher civil penalties or jail time for “passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember” or keep a crewmember from completing their duties.
Nicholas E. Calio, the president and CEO at Airlines for America, issued a statement in support of the FAA’s order, according to trade organization’s press release.
“The safety and security of passengers and employees is always the top priority of the U.S. airline industry, and we welcome the FAA’s order to implement a more stringent policy regarding unruly passenger behavior,” Calio said. “We cannot have any form of dangerous behavior that threatens the safety of passengers and crewmembers. We are grateful for the strong leadership of FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson and his unwavering commitment to aviation safety.”
This new policy was signed by FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and is in effect through March 30. It has gone into effect following the transportation authority observing increased instances of passengers refusing to wear face masks in compliance with coronavirus health measures set by airlines as well as disruptive behavior after the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
The FAA’s emphasis on enforcement is meant to deter passengers from this undesirable conduct.
Failure to wear a mask on a commercial flight is not a violation of federal law in itself, but violent or harassing behavior related to mask refusal is a violation of the FAA’s policy and will be subject to a civil penalty.
The travel agency’s policy applies to passengers and even people who are not aboard the aircraft. This includes disruptive conduct like pointing a laser toward a flight and more.
As of Thursday, there have been more than 23.2 million confirmed coronavirus infections, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.
Over 386,990 people have died due to complications associated with the respiratory virus.
The effects of the pandemic have led Airlines for America to stress the importance of personal protective equipment, including face masks and coverings.
Current members of the trade organization from the U.S. are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air Worldwide, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, Hawaiian Airlines, jetBlue, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS.