Exclusive: FAA chief vows ‘zero tolerance’ approach to disruptive passengers, warns of possible jail time

FILE PHOTO: Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson speaks at a pre-launch news conference as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is readied to carry four astronauts on the first operational NASA commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson signed an order on Wednesday directing the agency to take a “zero tolerance policy” after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump have been disruptive on some recent flights.

Dickson told Reuters the FAA’s special emphasis program would last through March 30 and warned disruptive passengers could face up to $35,000 fines and possible jail time. He emphasized the agency will not issue warning letters or negotiation of penalties.

“We will no longer adjudicate certain of these unruly passenger cases with counseling or warnings. We’re going to go straight to enforcement,” Dickson told Reuters, who also briefed airlines on the new policy. “We’ve seen a disturbing increase in these incidents.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese

Source: Reuters

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