U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson signed an order on Wednesday that directs the FAA to take a "zero tolerance policy" after Trump supporters were disruptive and refused to wear masks on some recent flights, reports Reuters:
Dickson told Reuters the FAA's special emphasis program would last through March 30 and warned disruptive passengers could face up to $35,000 fines and possible jail time. He emphasized the agency will not issue warning letters or negotiate penalties.
"We will no longer adjudicate certain of these unruly passenger cases with counseling or warnings. We're going to go straight to enforcement," Dickson said in an interview.
He said he briefed airlines on the new policy. "We've seen a disturbing increase in these incidents…. We'll take the strongest possible enforcement action against any passenger who engages in it."
Dickson said the FAA could refer cases for criminal prosecution to the Justice Department, which could seek sentences of up to 20 years for flight disturbances.