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TSA restarting self-defense training for flight crews amid spike in unruly passenger incidents

Airlines Unruly Passengers
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jun 24, 2021

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to restart its self-defense training for flight crews in early July after pausing it due to COVID-19 restrictions.

TSA said in a statement Thursday that it remains committed to equipping crews with the tools needed to keep people safe on planes, especially since unruly passenger incidents are on the rise.

So far this year, the FAA says 487 investigations have been initiated regarding unruly passengers in the U.S. In all of 2020, 183 investigations were initiated.

Through the Crew Member Self-Defense (CMSD) training program, the TSA says certified instructors will provide crew members with effective defensive measure techniques for responding to attackers in commercial passenger or cargo aircraft.

During the CMSD training, flight crew members will learn how to identify and deter potential threats, as well as apply self-defense techniques against attackers, if needed.

The voluntary four-hour training is offered to flight crew members free of charge and is held at 24 locations around the United States, according to the TSA.

All active flight crew members for domestic carriers are eligible to register for the training at this website.

“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,” wrote 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.”