United States president Joe Biden said he had instructed the country's Justice Department to ‘deal’ with the rise of unruly passengers on planes.

The remark was made during the president's speech in Chicago on October 7, 2021.

“[…] I’ve instructed the Justice Department to make sure that we deal with the violence on aircraft coming from those people who are taking issues. We’re going to deal with that,” Biden is quoted in the transcript of the speech posted by the White House.  

According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), incidents involving unruly passengers on aircraft skyrocketed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 alone ,there were 4,626 reports of passengers violating FAA regulations or federal laws aboard commercial aircraft, resulting in 849 investigations and 177 enforcement cases, the authority estimated.

Most of the reports concerned mask-related incidents, with passengers refusing to adhere to mask-wearing regulations. 

Previously, the FAA has appealed to airlines asking them to “commit to take more action” and asked airports for help in limiting alcohol consumption before boarding, as most unruly passengers were found to be intoxicated.

Biden did not detail how the Justice Department is going to deal with the issue.

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