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Rep. Bennie Thompson and others send letters to airlines urging mandatory self-defense training for crews

(Source: WPVI, CNN)
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 8:51 AM CST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLBT) - Committee on Homeland Security Chair Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and other federal officials sent letters to four major airlines urging them to require their crew members to take self-defense training.

This comes at a time when the Federal Aviation Administration is seeing an increase in the number of unruly airline passengers, but Thompson hopes to prevent these types of dangerous incidents.

“Though we all hope most flight crew members will never have to employ the skills they learn in this course, the disturbing increase and intensity of disruptive incidents aboard planes have accentuated the need for such training,” the letters read.

Right now, flight attendants and other flight crew members who want to attend the training must find time outside of work hours and pay for their travel and lodging, but the letters request the airlines to cover those expenses and provide paid time for employees to participate in the program.

Other authors of the letters are Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Transportation & Maritime Security Subcommittee Chair Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA).

“This voluntary, no-cost training is led by Federal Air Marshals to teach crew members how to defuse tense situations and defend themselves during physical altercations with passengers,” wrote the chairs.

Read each letter below.

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