The United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) handed over 22 passenger cases to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) throughout Q2 2023, with those figures ticking up compared to the previous quarter.
The FAA has highlighted that, of the passengers involved in the 22 incidents, one yelled, cursed and threw objects, resulting in them being restrained in cuffs. Another exhibited erratic behavior, threatened physical assault and refused to remain seated.
“Unruly behavior poses serious safety concerns for passengers and crew alike, which is why we are addressing this issue aggressively,” said Pete Buttigieg, the US Transportation Secretary, adding that unruly passengers can face criminal prosecution and a fine up to $37,000 per violation.
The FAA has handed over 39 passenger cases to the FBI Year-to-Date (YTD). Under a partnership that commenced in late 2021, the goal of which is to make unruly passengers face criminal prosecution, the regulator has referred over 270 cases to the FBI.
In June 2023, the FAA announced that flight decks of newly built aircraft would be required to have a second physical barrier, which would ensure the safety of crews and passengers.
“Every day, pilots and flight crews transport millions of Americans safely – and today we are taking another important step to make sure they have the physical protections they deserve,” Buttigieg said at the time.