7.31.20 – Healthy Flights Act

Friday, July 31, 2020

Healthy Flights Act

Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the Healthy Flights Act of 2020 this week.

The Healthy Flights Act of 2020 would provide a set of uniform requirements to help keep passengers and airline and airport workers healthy by minimizing the transmission of the virus through our air transportation system. It also helps prepare U.S. aviation stakeholders for future infectious disease pandemics and epidemics by developing a national preparedness plan to define the aviation system’s response to future outbreaks and by advancing scientific research.

“The Healthy Flights Act provides clear, consistent rules and guidelines that give flight and cabin crews the authority they need to keep passengers safe, mitigate the spread of this insidious disease, and help our country prepare for future pandemics,” said Chairman Peter DeFazio.

Importantly, the legislation requires that passengers wear masks onboard the aircraft and within airports. APFA has been at the forefront of calling on the DOT/FAA to issue an enforceable federal standard consistently across the aviation industry. APFA not only pushed the company to allow Flight Attendants to wear masks during this pandemic, we pushed them to require that our passengers wear them as well, but the DOT/FAA is yet to back us up on it. Wearing a mask on a plane during a pandemic is a common measure that should be no different from wearing your seatbelt or refraining from smoking on an airplane.

“Flight Attendants have been looking for Federal leadership since the earliest days of the pandemic. So far, DOT and FAA have been missing in action. That is why APFA applauds the Healthy Flights Act that mandates safety policies for passengers in this pandemic and protects Flight Attendants in our workplace. An industry-wide federal mandate that masks be worn inflight—a commonsense safety measure—is frankly long overdue. DOT and FAA have not been the leaders we have needed in this crisis. We applaud Chairman DeFazio for addressing these basic safety precautions that should have been mandated months ago,” said Julie Hedrick, APFA National President.

Maintaining the health and safety of passengers and crew is incredibly vital to rebuilding our aviation industry. Passengers need to feel safe throughout the air travel experience, and ensuring that everyone is wearing a face covering is a critical component of that.

In addition to ensuring the health and safety of air travelers, an extension of the Payroll Support Program would provide stability to our industry and job security for our members. Contact your Senators today.

In Solidarity,

Allie Malis
APFA Government Affairs Representative

Lori Glattly
APFA Government Affairs Representative


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