Profiles in Diversity Journal Second Quarter 2022

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Ensuring Nondiscrimination at Our Nation’s Airports By: Marcus H. England, Team Lead National Airports Civil Rights Policy & Compliance FAA Office of Civil Rights

Every day, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) works to ensure no traveler faces discrimination at our nation’s more than 5,000 public airports. The FAA’s Office of Civil Rights is responsible for the development and implementation of civil rights and equal opportunity policies and programs. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act requires, among other things, that airport sponsors ensure there is nondiscrimination in all facets of airport operations. To ensure compliance with the act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, the FAA works with its external partners to guarantee that no traveler or person seeking to do business at the nation’s public airports faces discrimination. As the anniversary date approaches, the FAA continues its efforts to educate and help ensure there is no discrimination at the nation’s airports.

What is the FAA’s role in airport nondiscrimination? Airport sponsors who receive grants under the FAA Airport Improvement Program are obligated by the civil rights requirements of Title VI, CFR Part 21. Collectively, these authorities prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or creed. Airport operators, airport staff, contractors, concessionaires, and other entities licensed to operate at the airport must comply with these nondiscrimination laws and regulations. The FAA has established policy and addresses all complaints of unlawful discrimination

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on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, creed, sexual orientation, and disability in federally operated and federally assisted airport programs. Through the Airport Nondiscrimination Compliance Program, the FAA works with the owners and operators of public airports across the country to prevent the unequal treatment of travelers and businesses. To accomplish this mission, the agency partners with the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation’s Office of Consumer Protection, and stakeholder groups to ensure compliance with Title VI requirements.

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