Journal of Air Law and Commerce


Currently, airlines have no legal duty to report an in-flight sexual assault to law enforcement. This lack of a duty to report hinders investigations, prevents victims from receiving closure, and imposes additional liability on air carriers. This Comment suggests imposing a mandatory and uniform reporting requirement on commercial airlines. This requirement would better assist travelers and help limit airlines’ liability for in-flight sexual assault.

By examining the purposes and policies of other mandated reporting laws, it is apparent that the airline industry is an apt place to instill a duty to report. Requiring airlines to report in- flight sexual assault would follow the current trend of making reporting requirements commonplace in the professional and corporate spheres. Pending legislation on this topic has significant shortcomings, but this Comment argues that it is nonetheless important and should be expanded in the near future.