‘Chaos in the Sky’: Commercial Airline Pilots File Their First Lawsuit Over Transportation Mask Mandate

People gather their luggage after arriving at Miami International Airport on a plane from New York on Feb. 1, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hours after the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the federal transportation mask mandate—which the White House quickly threatened to veto—a group of commercial pilots filed the first legal challenge by airline workers to overturn the requirement to wear masks on all public transport.

On March 15, 10 commercial airline pilots from six states filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), asking the court to strike down the federal transportation mask mandate, arguing that it endangers aviation safety.

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