Federal Aviation Administration officials have announced they will make their “zero-tolerance policy” permanent.
On Wednesday, acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen released a statement, saying, “Behaving dangerously on a plane will cost you; that’s a promise.”
He said, “Unsafe behavior simply does not fly, and keeping our Zero Tolerance policy will help us continue making progress to prevent and punish this behavior.”
On Jan. 13, 2021, the agency implemented its unruly passenger policy after an upsurge in passenger incidents.
Rather than warning letters or counseling, misbehaving passengers will now receive fines by the FAA policy.
The agency said, “The Zero Tolerance policy, combined with the agency’s public awareness campaign, has helped reduce the incident rate by more than 60 percent. The FAA will continue to work with its airline, labor, airport and security and law enforcement partners to continue driving down the number of incidents.”
The FAA had reported 80 incidents of rowdy passengers to the FBI for criminal investigation as of Feb. 16.
The FAA has penalized rowdy passengers, and the agency is negotiating with the Transportation Security Administration to suspend TSA Pre-Check privileges.
There have been about $7 million in fines imposed by the agency since January 2021 for disruptive passengers.
After receiving the FAA’s letter, passengers have 30 days to respond to the agency. The FAA said its zero-tolerance policy toward unruly behavior and public awareness campaign reduced such cases by almost 60%.