IconMarch 19th, 2021
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FAA continues to enforce stern measures against unruly passengers

The FAA has affirmed its position on enforcing more rules than are intended to manage disruptive passengers onboard US flights. Since preventive and control measures have been put in place in the aviation sector, more than 600 travelers onboard flights in the United States have been reported for several violations, with most cases centered on mask violations.

As part of the new COVID-19 protocol, airlines and the FAA now require that every passenger aboard flights wears a face mask throughout the flight. This rule, however, has been ignored by many, and as a result, passengers have been removed from flights, and in other cases, they’ve been banned from travel.

The FAA announced that it would not be putting an end to its zero-tolerance policy against passengers that refuse to follow the set rules. It was earlier expected that the rules would expire by the end of March, but now, the new extension’s expiration would depend on how long the federal mask mandate would hold up. These punishable disruptive behaviors the FAA continues to fight against includes passengers acting contrary to crew instruction or rules. Still, it has mainly focused on passengers that don’t wear face masks onboard.

In a statement, Steve Dickson, FAA Administrator, said,

“I have decided to extend the FAA’s unruly-passenger zero-tolerance policy as we continue to do everything we can to confront the pandemic. The policy directs our safety inspectors and attorneys to take strong enforcement action against any passenger who disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time. The number of cases we’re seeing is still far too high, and it tells us urgent action continues to be required.”
Following safety concerns raised in the aftermath of the US Capitol riots, the FAA restated its zero-tolerance policy and its readiness to punish violators. This recent announcement shows that the FAA believes that face masks still play an important role in the fight against the COVID-19 virus even as vaccines are being rolled out globally, and passengers who violate the rules would be punished.

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