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Classification 164: Crime Aboard Aircraft

This classification was established in 1961 for investigations under a 1961 law that made air piracy, interference with flight crews, and other acts aboard airplanes, such as murder, into federal crimes. This law was followed by the Tokyo, Hague, and Montreal conventions concerning hijacking during international flights and ultimately implemented by the United States in the 1974 Anti-Hijacking Act. The 1974 act also gave the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exclusive jurisdiction in hijacking situations in-flight. Bringing a concealed weapon aboard an aircraft became a Federal crime in 1979.

Under these basic laws the FBI negotiated with other agencies for jurisdictional control. Under agreements of 1970 and 1974 the FAA had primary jurisdiction during flights. The FBI had primary jurisdiction when the plane was at rest on the ground under the 1970 agreement, and when an external door was opened under the 1974 agreement.

The FBI clashed with the U.S. Marshal's Service whose marshals stationed at airports often made arrests and undertook investigations. During the early 1970s the FBI briefly shared with the Marshal's Service the duty of placing guards on flights. In 1976 the Bureau reached agreement with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and gained primary jurisdiction over cases of bombs found in checked luggage. The Bureau also clashed with the Airline Pilots Association over agents carrying weapons during flights. The Bureau believed the pilots' lobbying helped to exclude the Bureau from in-flight jurisdiction in favor of the FAA under the 1974 law.

NARA online catalog descriptions of holdings for 164: Crime Aboard Aircraft

Record Group NARA IdentifierSeries Title
65569423Classification 164 (Crime Aboard Aircraft) Released Under The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts

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