As the holiday travel season begins, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today called on U.S. prosecutors to prioritize prosecutions for federal crimes committed on commercial aircraft that endanger the safety of people. passengers, flight crews and flight attendants. Federal law prohibits assaults, intimidation, and threats of violence that interfere with flight crews and flight attendants, as well as other listed criminal acts that occur during flight.
“Passengers who assault, intimidate or threaten violence against flight crews and flight attendants do more than harm these employees; they prevent the performance of essential tasks that help keep air travel safe, ”said Attorney General Garland. Likewise, when passengers commit acts of violence against other passengers within the narrow confines of a commercial aircraft, the behavior endangers everyone on board.
The memorandum also highlights an information sharing protocol between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Justice, which helps ensure that the department is informed of criminal behavior occurring on board commercial aircraft. The protocol has already resulted in dozens of incidents being referred by the FAA to the FBI for investigation.
“The Department of Justice is committed to using its resources to do its part to prevent violence, intimidation, threats of violence and other criminal behavior that endangers the safety of passengers, flight crew and flight attendants on commercial aircraft, ”Attorney General Garland said.