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National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force Submits Report to USDOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee

Monday, March 16, 2020

Today, the National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force submitted its report on in-flight sexual misconduct on commercial flights. 

The report was submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC). ACPAC will consider this report in making recommendations to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao later this year.  The report is available at https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/report-sexual-misconduct-commercial-flights-national.

The Task Force listened to first-hand accounts from passengers and flight attendants who experienced in-flight sexual misconduct, and about actions that airlines and law enforcement had taken after such incidents. The Task Force also reviewed complaints of in-flight sexual misconduct filed with the Federal government and considered the results of airline and airport surveys. The Task Force heard from law enforcement and Federal agencies on their efforts to address incidents of sexual misconduct and listened to the perspectives of consumers, labor unions, a provider of victim services, victim-centered nonprofits, and experts focused on training related to sexual violence and harassment.

The report is the result of the actions of the Task Force and provides information on existing practices on reporting, data collection, and training on responding to and addressing allegations of in-flight sexual misconduct. This report also highlights aspects of awareness, reporting, data collection, and training that are suitable for enhancement and development. Finally, the report makes recommendations on actions that could be taken by the Federal government, law enforcement agencies, airlines, airports, and unions.  

In transmitting the report to ACPAC, the Task Force noted that is confident that this report and adoption of its recommendations will lead to enhanced awareness, reporting practices, data collection, and training, thereby improving responses to incidents of sexual misconduct that take place onboard commercial aircraft and, over time, reducing incidents of in-flight sexual misconduct. The Task Force also noted that it expects that, although this report is focused on passengers, implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations may also improve responses to reduce sexual misconduct experienced by flight attendants and reduce such incidents.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao established the National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force (Task Force) as a subcommittee of ACPAC on February 11, 2019.