FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines Co. worker wears a protecting masks whereas aiding a passenger at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on an unusually empty Memorial Day weekend throughout the outbreak of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 23, 2020. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon
(Reuters) – A U.S. senator mentioned on Wednesday he hoped for bipartisan assist in Congress for obligatory guidelines on masks for air journey after the top of the Federal Aviation Administration once more resisted requires a mandate.
While most U.S. airways at the moment are requiring that passengers put on masks, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has not issued any guidelines.
Speaking at a Senate Commerce Committee listening to on plane certification, FAA Chief Steve Dickson mentioned the DOT and the FAA count on the touring public to observe particular person airways’ instructions and insurance policies on face coverings.
Several lawmakers requested Dickson why it was not made a rule.
“I don’t understand why we are going with a private sector-driven approach here, or a voluntary approach,” Senator Brian Schatz mentioned on the listening to, including that he would search laws.
Dickson mentioned the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has duty for public well being, whereas the FAA has oversight of aviation security, however famous work with carriers and different U.S. businesses to make sure “consistent guidelines.”
FAA officers have beforehand advised Reuters the company doesn’t consider it has authorized authority to require masks.
In the absence of a federal mandate, U.S. airways this week stepped up their very own enforcement measures, saying that any passenger that doesn’t abide by the rule might be placed on particular person airways’ no-fly lists.
Dickson mentioned the federal government “has been clear that passengers should wear face coverings while traveling by air, for their own protection and the protection of those around them.”
Reporting by David Shepardson in Truro, Massachusetts and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; further reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis