TSA to restart self-defense training for flight crew members

California Sun rise

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Amid numerous reports of unruly passengers on planes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to restart Crew Member Self-Defense (CMSD) training — which was previously paused due to COVID-19 restrictions — in July.

According to the TSA, assaulting or threatening a member of the flight crew is a federal crime that is punishable by civil penalties, criminal fines, or even imprisonment.

Flight crew members work to keep passengers safe while onboard an aircraft, but with unruly passenger incidents on the rise, officials want to equip crews with another tool to keep the skies safe.

“Through this training program, TSA’s Federal Air Marshals are able to impart their specialized expertise in defending against and de-escalating an attack while in an aircraft environment,” said Darby LaJoye, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the TSA Administrator. “While it is our hope that flight crew members never have need for these tactics, it is critical to everyone’s safety that they be well-prepared to handle situations as they arise.”

According to officials, the TSA CMSD Training Program allows certified instructors to provide flight crew members with effective defensive techniques for responding to an attacker in a commercial passenger or cargo aircraft.

During the training, flight crew members learn to identify and deter potential threats, as well as use self-defense techniques against attackers if necessary.

This voluntary four-hour training is offered to flight crew members at 24 locations around the United States free of charge. All active flight crew members for domestic carriers are allowed to register for the training.

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