Airplane landing at night
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The Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it will create a task force with the mission of investigating sexual misconduct in airlines.

The National In-Flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force will operate as a subcommittee of the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC). According to a press release, the task force “will review current practices, protocols and requirements of U.S. airlines in responding to and reporting allegations of sexual misconduct by passengers on board aircraft.”

The task force will provide recommendations to ACPAC about how to report and collect data around sexual misconduct and how to train employees.

An FBI investigation revealed that reports of sexual misconduct mid-flight increased 66 percent from 2014 to 2017. Last year, the bureau opened 63 sexual assault investigations, according to USA Today.

Last year, CNN reported on the increase of sexual harassment cases reported by both passengers and cabin crew. About 20 percent of flight attendants have reported being harassed by passengers while on the job. A member of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union said that her employer never provided sexual harassment training for her or her colleagues.

The first meeting of the task force is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2019. The initial meeting will discuss in further detail what duties the task force should maintain and the founding members of the task force will be announced.