On October 5, 2018, President Trump signed the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (FAA Act), Pub. L. No. 115-254, 132 Stat. 3186 (2018). Section 339A of the FAA Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish a task force, to be known as the “National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force”. The Department established the National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force (Task Force), a subcommittee of the Department’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC) to carry out the requirements of Section 339A of the FAA Act. The Task Force will review and evaluate current practices, protocols, and requirements of U.S. airlines in responding to and reporting allegations by passengers of sexual misconduct on board commercial aircraft. It will also provide recommendations on best practices relating to training, reporting, and data collection regarding incidents of sexual misconduct by passengers onboard commercial aircraft.
Task Force Members
The Secretary selected Task Force members for their expertise in the travel industry or their relevant subject matter expertise as well as their willingness and ability to actively participate in meeting the Task Force’s objective. The Task Force members are:
- Judith S. Kaleta, Deputy General Counsel, DOT, as DOT representative and Chair of Sexual Misconduct Task Force.
- Allison Ausband, Senior Vice President for In Flight Service, Delta Air Lines, as representative of airlines.
- Christopher Bidwell, Senior Vice President, Security, Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), as representative of airports.
- Katherine Chon, Director of Office on Trafficking in Persons, HHS, as representative of HHS.
- Darlene Hutchinson Biehl, Director of Office for Victims of Crime, DOJ, as representative of DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime.
- David L. Maggard, Chief, Los Angeles Airport Police, as representative of state and local law enforcement agencies.
- Sunitha Menon, Chief of Consulting Services Operations, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), as representative of national organizations providing services to sexual assault victims.
- Lyn Montgomery, President, Transport Workers Union – Local 556, as representative of labor organizations representing flight attendants.
- Kaori Paris, United Airlines Pilot, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), as representative of labor organizations representing pilots.
- Eben Peck, Executive Vice President of Advocacy, American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), as representative of national travel organizations.
- Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Airlines for America, as representative of airlines.
- Matthew Ploskunak, Program Manager of International Violent Crimes, FBI, as representative of the FBI.
- Frances Smith, Adjunct Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute, as representative of consumers.
- Katherine Sullivan, Acting Director of Office on Violence Against Women, DOJ, as representative of DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women.
Blane Workie, the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, serves as the Designated Federal Officer for the Task Force.
Task Force Report
Pursuant to Section 339A of the FAA Act, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the FAA Act (October 5, 2018), the Task Force shall submit a report with its recommendations on best practices relating to training, reporting, and data collection regarding incidents of sexual misconduct by passengers onboard commercial aircraft.
Secretary of Transportation's Reports to Congress
Pursuant to Section 339A of the FAA Act, not later than 180 days after receiving the report required under this Section, the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with relevant federal agencies, shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress a plan to address the recommendations in the report.
Task Force Docket
Members of the public can share their views and concerns with the Task Force. Written comments may be submitted to the Task Force docket (DOT-OST-2019-0045). If individuals wish to submit confidential information that they do not wish to be made publicly available, they should submit one copy with a cover note that states “This document contains confidential information.” The second copy should have the confidential information redacted/blacked out and that copy will be available for public viewing. If an individual does not wish for his or her name and contact information to be made publicly available, then he or she can provide this information on the cover note that is marked confidential and not in the body of the comments.
Members of the public may contact Task Force members by sending an email to email@example.com.
Task Force Status
The Task Force held its first meeting on April 10, 2019, in Washington, D.C.