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Air travel: AG Garland directs federal prosecutors to prioritize cases involving violence on flights



Garland issued a memo citing dozens of cases referred to the FBI by the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation of violent incidents during air travel. The referrals are the result of a system of information sharing between agencies.

The memo also instructs prosecutors to coordinate with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies over the next 20 days to ensure cases are referred to the FBI and U.S. attorneys for further investigation. federal prosecution is possible.

The move comes as the United States joins in peak holiday travel season, is expected to be the busiest since the coronavirus pandemic began. Major US airlines are operating with fewer pilots and flight attendants than they did before the pandemic, and with domestic flight bookings almost returning to normal, airlines are trying to do more with less this holiday.

“Passengers who assault, threaten, or threaten violence against flight crews and flight attendants not only harm those employees; they prevent the implementation of these measures,” Garland said in a Justice Department statement. important mission to help ensure safe flight”.

The FAA has received 5,338 reports of unruly passengers, about three-quarters related to the federal masked transport mission, and has opened more than 1,000 investigations.

It has made public more than $1.6 million in fines against passengers accused of violence or misconduct, including more than $161,000 against eight passengers announced this week.

Overall, the number of domestic flights scheduled from the weekend before to after New Year’s Eve fell 12% year-on-year, according to data from Cirium, an aviation data tracking service.

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