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TSA Extends Mask Requirement Through Jan. 18; APA Supports Strict Compliance

FORT WORTH, Texas (Aug. 18, 2021) – The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 14,000 pilots of American Airlines, voiced its support for strict compliance as the Transportation Security Administration announced that passengers will be required to wear masks on commercial flights, buses, and trains through Jan. 18.

The latest statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration show that 74 percent of this year’s reports of unruly passengers were related to masks. More than 680 investigations of passenger misconduct have been initiated this year; that’s more twice the previous high since the turn of the century (310 investigations in 2004).

“The duty of enforcing this rule falls to our pilots and flight attendants at 30,000 feet, and passengers who refuse to comply make our difficult jobs harder than they have to be,” APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson said. “Compliance is not optional.”

In a June letter to United States Attorney General Merrick Garland, APA joined several other airline industry stakeholders – including Airlines for America, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and the Air Line Pilots Association – in emphasizing the need to prosecute egregious passenger misconduct to help ensure onboard safety and security. The stakeholders cited “the substantial increase in and growing escalation of passengers’ unruly and disruptive behavior onboard aircraft, particularly toward crewmembers,” and requested that the Department of Justice “commit to the full and public prosecution of onboard acts of violence.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 14,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is AlliedPilots.org.

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