Traveling for the holidays
Heading across the country? When preparing to travel through the airport, the FAA reminds passengers to ensure their luggage is packed correctly to prevent delays – and if in doubt, leave it behind. Various regulations prevent transporting some items in hand luggage, from certain liquids to even toys. A complete list to prevent you from going viral on social media is available on the TSA’s website.
There is no longer any need to worry about being separated on the plane. Through 2022, the Department of Transportation (DoT) has been lobbying airlines to ensure children under 13 are seated next to at least one of their adults, with no additional charge. Despite complaints being infrequent, passengers have still noted several instances of being separated from their young children for the duration of the flight. Airlines can be penalized by the DoT if their seating policies prevent children from being seated away from family members.
Passengers traveling with children under two must use an approved Child Restraint System (CRS) during flight. Some car seats are approved for joint use in the air, streamlining the travel process further. The DoT provides information for approved CRS on its website, while the FAA offers advice for passengers traveling with children with disabilities needing to submit an exemption form.
While air rage incidents have fallen by nearly 80% compared to 2021’s record high, the FAA maintains its zero-tolerance policy for dangerous behavior in the air. While it is a stressful time, passengers should remain respectful of other travelers and crew members to avoid being hit with a fine of up to $37,000 per violation.
Staying at home
For those remaining at home, gifts and celebrations can still pose issues for air safety. One of the most notable problems is ground-based lasers, which have caused a massive 74,000 incidents in the US since 2010. These can range from small pointers, pet toys, and even laser-light displays, which can temporarily blind flight deck crew.
Unfortunately, the phenomenon is increasing, with a 42% rise in laser incidents between 2020 and 2021, with 2022 coming close to overtaking that figure.
It is a federal crime to intentionally aim lasers at aircraft, punishable with a fine of $11,000 per violation, increasing to $30,800 for multiple incidents. However, jail time has been levied for frequent offenders.
Another growing issue for the aviation industry has been drones – despite being relatively small, drones fall into the aircraft category and are barred from operating near aircraft and airports. Those receiving a drone as a present are reminded to learn the rules and register their device if required. The FAA provides a list of regulations for drone owners.
Overall, with the holidays being busy and stressful – passengers should remain respectful and considerate of those around them, while residents should ensure they comply with local and federal laws.
“Safety is the magic word during this most magical time of the year,” said Billy Nolen, FAA’s Acting Administrator.
“We appreciate everyone who makes air travel safe, and they will definitely be on the nice list. Don’t let unsafe behavior land you on both Santa and the FAA’s naughty list.”
Will you be traveling this holiday season? What are your thoughts on the FAA’s advice? Let us know in the comments.
Source: USA Today