- The US Department of Transportation is creating a task force to figure out how to combat incidents of in-flight sexual assault.
- The task force will make recommendations on best practices for US airlines relating to training, reporting, and data collection regarding sexual assaults.
- The number of FBI Investigations into in-flight sexual assaults increased by 66% between 2014 and 2017.
The US Department of Transportation is creating a task force to figure out how to combat incidents of in-flight sexual assault. The sexual assault task force will be a subcommittee of and report to the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC) that was reconstituted by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Thursday.
“Recent reports of increased incidents of sexual assault and misconduct onboard aircraft have highlighted concerns regarding the response to such incidents,” the DOT said in a statement.
Between 2014 and 2017, FBI investigations into in-flight sexual assaults have increased by 66%, CNN reported.
The National In-flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force will evaluate existing US airline practices in how they respond to and report allegations of mid-air sexual assault by passengers. In addition, it will make recommendations on “best practices and protocols for US air carriers relating to training, reporting, and data collection regarding sexual assaults onboard aircraft.”
The task force will consist of representatives from the DOT; the US Department of Justice including the FBI, the Office of Victims of Crimes, and the Office of Violence Against Women; The Department of Health and Human Services; national organisations that provide services to sexual assault victims; consumer protection organisations; travel organisations, flight attendants’ and pilots’ unions; state and local law enforcement agencies; airports; and airlines.
The ACPAC will review current aviation industry consumer protections and make recommendations on how they can be improved.
The committee will convene for the first time in on January 16, 2019, during which they will discuss the “transparency of airline ancillary service fees” and the involuntary bumping of passengers.