ASTA is calling on the FAA to mandate the use of face masks on all flights.
In a statement Friday, ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby acknowledged that most carriers require passengers and employees to wear masks, but their ability to enforce compliance lies with the FAA making it a requirement.
ASTA said an FAA mask requirement would help increase public confidence in flying at a time when daily TSA checkpoint traffic is still down by 75% or more.
"In the absence of reliable, noninvasive, rapid-response virus testing,
it's clear that when it comes to flying, more consumers need the
assurance that those they are in close quarters with will act
responsibly," Kerby said.
Kerby said the Society has been polling consumers every 14 days throughout the pandemic. Survey results, he said, indicate consumers' willingness to resume activities relates directly to their ability to control the health risks involved. Additionally, they feel "no one is being quite as careful as I am" when they participate in an activity in close proximity to others.
"Taken together -- the desire to control personal health risk and the fear that others are not doing their part -- are powerful deterrents to travel," Kerby said. "Thankfully, a nearly painless public policy fix is within reach."