The Federal Aviation Administration is planning to strengthen policies against unruly passengers in the wake of confrontations between customers and airline staff following last week’s Capitol riots.
The FAA announced Thursday that Administrator Steve Dickson had signed an order that directed a more strict legal enforcement policy against unruly passengers, a statement from the agency said, citing an increase in violent incidents over masks and last week’s riots.
“Flying is the safest mode of transportation and I signed this order to keep it that way.” Administrator Dickson said in the statement.
The FAA will begin handing down stricter punishments to unruly airline passengers without a warning, including “fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment.” https://t.co/p91iNjfX80
— ABC News (@ABC) January 14, 2021
The policy, which will go into effect on March 30, will no longer address any cases with a warning or counseling on a flight, the statement read. The new policy will sanction passengers who threaten or assault aircraft crew with a $35,000 fine and potential imprisonment. (RELATED: House Dems Request Investigation Into ‘Suspicious Behavior And Access’ At Capitol One Day Before Riot)
“First strike and you’re out,” Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, told the Associated Press. “We applaud FAA Administrator Dickson for taking this clear stand for our safety and security.”
The new policy comes as lawmakers and airline unions seek those that participated in last week’s riots to be put on the no-fly list, but the FAA has said they have no authority to do so, the Associated Press reported.
The Department of Justice is also looking into potential sedition and conspiracy charges against those who participated in the riots, however no one has been charged with such crimes at this time.