TSA resuming self-defense training for officers starting July

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 11:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Airline travel has been on the rise in the waning days of the pandemic, but unfortunately, so have tempers.

TSA reports of unruly passengers have doubled in the past four years, and even more so in the past few months. Now, the agency is saying enough is enough, working to shut down those outbursts when they happen.

“Passengers do not arrive at an airport or board a plane with the intent of becoming unruly or violent. However, what is an exciting return to travel for some, may be a more difficult experience for others, which can lead to unexpected and unacceptable behaviors,” said TSA Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator, Darby LaJoye.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, reports of unruly passengers went from just 183 reports in 2020 to more than 3,000 as of June 1, 2021, the highest number of reports ever recorded in the past 15 years.

To combat this growing problem, TSA will be resuming Crew Member Self-Defense training led by the Federal Air Marshals in early July. The program was paused due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Certified instructors will teach The TSA CMSD Training Program to provide flight crew members with effective defensive measure techniques for responding against an attacker in a commercial passenger or cargo aircraft. During the training, flight crew members learn to identify and deter potential threats, and if needed, apply self-defense techniques against attackers.

It’s news that passengers taking to the skies welcome.

“I’ve seen it happen. I witnessed it happen last month on my flight from Richmond to Utah,” said Melvin. “I think it’s going to make flights more amicable and is going to give people a better experience and not have so much fear.”

“TSA, in coordination with our air carrier and airport management partners, as well as the FAA, says it will not tolerate such actions and may pursue criminal charges and a civil penalty up to the maximum allowable by law. TSA is urging travelers to be patient as they work to ensure a secure travel experience for all who pass through our nation’s checkpoints,” TSA said in a release.

Passengers with questions about checkpoint procedures and how to prepare for TSA security screening, or who need additional assistance during the security screening process, should contact TSA Cares in advance of their travel at (855) 787-2227.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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