Police at New York Area Airports: We Will Not Remove Passengers from an Aircraft
Following the dramatic removal of a passenger from a United Airlines flight in Chicago earlier in the week, the Port Authority Police Department, which is responsible for John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International airports, reiterated an existing policy that forbids its officers from assisting “in the physical removal of the passenger” at the request of an airline.
The department reminded its officers of this policy this week.
“If/when an airline representative calls your respective command for such assistance, the Tour Commander or Commanding Officer will inform the airline this is an internal, non-law enforcement related matter and the PAPD will not respond to this type of request,” said Michael Fedorko, the department’s superintendent and director of public safety, in a statement.
The incident in Chicago resulted in the harsh criticism of United Airlines as well as the Chicago Aviation Department. Unlike what is the case in many other big cities, Chicago’s aviation officers are not part of the regular police force, get far less training than regular police officers, and cannot carry guns inside the airports. Three members of the department were put on leave following public outrage over how they treated the United Airlines passenger.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)