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FAA steps up enforcement against unruly airline passengers

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Federal officials say they’re going to get tougher on airline passengers who disrupt flights

The FAA said under an order signed by Administrator Stephen Dickson, unruly passengers will no longer get warnings. Instead, the agency said, it will launch legal enforcement actions. Penalties can includes fines up to $35,000 and jail terms for passengers who assault or threaten airline crews or other passengers.

The new policy will be in effect through March 30.

The FAA said it has pursued more than 1,300 enforcement actions against passengers in the past 10 years. It did not immediately provide a count of recent cases, some of which involve passengers who assaulted flight attendants who told them to wear a face mask.

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Some lawmakers and airline union officials have demanded that people who took part in the riot at the Capitol be placed on the federal no-fly list. The FAA said it does not have authority over that list but works with law enforcement agencies on security threats.

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