WASHINGTON, Dec 22, - US lawmakers urge major airlines to help pilots with a mandatory training approach for violent incidents onboard.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Wednesday that it has received a record 5 779 passengers reported this year, including 4156 deaths related to the requirement that passengers wear masks to protect against the coronavirus pandemic.
The FAA, which pledged to a "zero tolerance" approach, said last month that it has referred 37 unruly passengers to the FBI as potential criminal prosecutions. It has launched an investigation into 1 054 - and 325 - operation.
On Wednesday, White House chairs Bennie Thompson and Peter DeFazio and two other key subcommittee chairmen sent letters to the General Managers of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines asking them to enroll their personnel in the Transportation Security Administration's self-defense training program.
The lawmakers want to ensure that they are equipped with the skills needed to deter and mitigate dangerous situations, if unruly passengers' behavior is high across the country.
They want airlines to give crewmembers paid time, travel, and accommodation so they can participate in an air marshal training.
The lawmakers noted that the TSA resumed offering its free self-defense program in July after skipping the course on its own, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
American Airlines said on Wednesday that it has "a high priority for the safety of our frontline team members" and we appreciate the decision of these lawmakers to protect it. We're reviewing the letter."
The move comes amid a holiday travel surge. The TSA says that it screened 1,98 million passengers in each of the last six days.
The FAA and the TSA announced on Tuesday that unruly passengers must be removed from precheck screening eligibility.
Last month, American Procuror General Merrick Garland gave federal prosecutors an easy path to justice for aircraft passengers in committing other crimes aboard.
The FAA has fined over $1.4 million to unruly passengers. Many passengers who refused to wear masks have been killed by a man who escaped by a man's name.
On Oct. 8, President Joe Biden told the Justice Department to "deal" with the rising number of violent incidents onboard planes.
An american prosecutors in Colorado charged an eight-year-old California citizen with punching an airplane attendant on a flight of American Airlines bound for California on Oct. 27. It forced the plane to land.
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