LOS ANGELES (NewsNation) — Lawmakers have proposed a permanent no-fly list for unruly passengers, as part of an effort to address and stop violent incidents on planes.
Under the ‘Protection from Abusive Passengers Act’, proposed on Wednesday, those found guilty of assaulting crew members on board a plane could be placed on a ‘no-fly’ list which would be maintained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Additionally, these individuals could be excluded from special programs that provide expedited passenger screening, including the TSA’s PreCheck or Global Entry program, which is operated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Last year, the TSA documented nearly 6,000 unruly passenger reports, including more than 4,000 related to mask compliance. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also launched investigations into more than 1,000 of these cases.
Pilots, airline representatives and flight crews almost all agreed that an industry-wide no-fly list would make them more comfortable doing their jobs and protecting passengers in the sky.
Over the past two years, the scenes of agitated passengers becoming physically and verbally abusive towards pilots, flight crews and other passengers have become all too familiar.
“If you can’t physically or emotionally control yourself, you shouldn’t get on that plane,” said pilot Captain Laura Einsetler.
Currently, each airline carefully maintains its own no-fly list, but currently there is a loophole: if someone misbehaves and gets banned from one airline, they can book a flight through another.
This bill would allow airlines to share their data and enforce a no-fly list across the industry.
“It was too late, and we just have to do it so we can protect our passengers, our crew members and the safety of our skies,” Einsetler said.
Pilots hope a no-fly list will make passengers realize the stakes are too high before they act.
“If you’re going to disrupt the operation of the crew, then you’re not going to fly on the airlines anymore,” Einsetler said.
In February, a similar attempt to pass a federal no-fly list was halted when several Republican senators pushed back, saying it would equate unruly passengers with terrorists and strip them of their constitutional right to travel freely.
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