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Do Federal Mask Mandates Affect GA?
January 28, 2021 – EAA is closely monitoring the FAA's and TSA's implementation of a recent White House executive order on mask mandates to ensure that it does not inappropriately impact general aviation operations.
The order, signed on January 21, directs the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security to enforce a mask mandate on most public modes of interstate travel. The order clearly targets "commercial aircraft," among other forms of public transportation like trains and busses, but also calls for mask mandates at "airports" without offering specificity as to which facilities it is intended to cover.
While “commercial aircraft” can reasonably be taken to mean Part 121 airliners, the open-ended “airports” requirement could spill over to general aviation facilities, even private areas such as hangars, if interpreted overzealously. EAA is working to ensure that the implementation of the order remains limited to public transportation facilities such as airline terminals, and does not create any unreasonable “one size fits all” mandates that cover GA.