Washington, DC – An amendment authored by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) that seeks to get tough on racial, ethnic, and religious profiling of passengers by airline employees was unanimously adopted by a key Senate committee today. The legislation has now been incorporated into the must-pass Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill, which is expected to be advanced by the full Senate this fall before a key September 30th deadline.

“Examples of airline passengers being profiled because of their race, ethnicity, or religion are disturbingly common,” Booker said. “The airline industry needs to do a better job of ensuring passengers aren’t subjected to harassment or discrimination because of basic expressions of racial, ethnic, or religious identity. Air carriers need to rethink how they set nondiscrimination polices and how they train employees, and this amendment will help do that." 

Booker’s amendment requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to scrutinize air carriers’ employee training policies on racial, ethnic, and religious nondiscrimination within six months of the law’s enactment. The amendment requires the Secretary of Transportation to develop and disseminate best practices for improving nondiscrimination training practices based on the results of the GAO’s investigation.

The FAA reauthorization bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today, and will move to the full Senate for consideration.

Text of the amendment is available here.