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Monday, 01 February, 2021

New CDC Mask Order

The CDC issued an order requiring travelers to wear masks when entering the premises of a transportation hub, awaiting, boarding, disembarking, and for the duration of travel. The CDC mask requirement applies to aviation facilities such as airports, FBOs and commercial aircraft operations, including part 135 operations.

This Order, effective on February 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm (EST), must be followed by all passengers traveling into, within, or out of the United States as well as operators and operators of transportation hubs or any other area that provides transportation.

Aircraft and transportation hub operators must use best efforts to ensure travelers are wearing masks, including:

  • Allowing entry to or boarding only those wearing masks
  • Monitoring and seeking compliance for those on premises or onboard
  • Removing or disembarking, at earliest opportunity, any person who refuses to wear a mask
  • Providing notification of requirement by Federal law on digital, print, audio, and other platforms

Order exemptions are granted for:

  • Eating, drinking, or taking medications, for brief periods
  • Communicating with a person who is hearing impaired
  • Instances when wearing oxygen masks are needed due to loss of cabin pressure or other event affecting aircraft ventilation
  • Travelers who are unconscious (for reasons other than sleeping), incapacitated, unable to be awakened, or otherwise unable to move without assistance
  • Verifying a traveler's identity such as through TSA screening or by a ticket or gate agent
  • Children under the age of 2 years
  • A person with a disability who can not safely wear a mask
  • A person for whom wearing a mask would pose a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by relevant federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines

    NATA is continuing to communicate with the agencies on the unique environment and needs of aviation businesses and will report on any other developments. 

For general press inquiries, contact Shannon Chambers at 703-298-1347 or

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has been the voice of aviation business for 80 years. Representing nearly 3,700 aviation businesses, NATA’s member companies provide a broad range of services to general aviation, the airlines and the military and NATA serves as the public policy group representing the interests of aviation businesses before Congress and the federal agencies.