Trump administration creates ‘in-flight sexual misconduct’ task force

The Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that it will create a task force to review procedures surrounding episodes of sexual misconduct by airplane passengers.

The announcement said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was establishing the National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force to review practices and protocols for US airlines in handling allegations.

The task force will be established as a subcommittee of the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee, a newly reconstituted panel due to meet for the first time in January. Task force members will be announced at that meeting.

The body “will also provide recommendations to the ACPAC on best practices relating to training, reporting and data collection regarding incidents of sexual misconduct by passengers on board commercial aircraft,” according to the announcement.

CNN has reported previously on allegations of sexual assault from women on commercial flights and the difficulty in grasping the extent of the problem, for which no federal regulatory agency had definitive data.

The problem took on new attention in the wake of the “Me Too” movement and the ensuing national conversation around sexual harassment and assault.

The Transportation Department said the initial meeting of the advisory committee also would include a discussion of what the duties of the sexual misconduct panel will be.