No-fly draft rules in place: Unruly passengers may be suspended from flying for up to 2 years

In response to Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad's unruly behaviour with an Air India staff in March this year, the government has today come out with a set of rules allowing aviation companies to take action against passengers found guilty of misbehaving with staff or their co-passengers.

Bringing in law to bar unruly fliers, the government said any passenger using abusive language against any airline staff or co-passengers will be suspended from flying for three months.

A passenger will be suspended from flying for more than two years if found making life-threatening statements against co-passengers or any airline staff.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Further, a passenger involved in any physical assault to airline staff or passengers will be barred from flying for six months.

The government also said a three-member panel will be set up to examine mis-behaviour of the passengers.

Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey while addressing a press conference said that the no-fly list will be overseen by both the government and DGCA The Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

"We propose to bring out a national no fly list as it is better to do that by a central mechanism under DGCA than leave it to airlines," Choubey said at the pres conference.

The government also said final rules on unruly passengers will be released in next two months.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had earlier said that the no-fly list will include both safety and security concerns. "Safety concerns emanate when there are passengers that exhibit unruly behaviour," Sinha said.

The government has held discussions with stakeholders on finding the "right way" to have a no-fly list to deal with unruly air passengers.

According to minister Sinha, there has been an increase in incidents of unruly and disruptive behaviour of air passengers of late and the plan is to do something "pro-actively and preemptively".

As per the IATA, in 2015, there were 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by the passengers across airlines worldwide, which translate into one incident for every 1,205 flights.

The need for a no-fly list follows the incident last month involving Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who assaulted an Air India staffer as he was upset because he could not fly business class on an all-economy flight.

Following this, Gaikwad was banned by the national carrier and subsequently by all other domestic airlines. The ban was rescinded after the MP expressed regret.

Since the incident on 23 March, Air India had blocked seven attempts by Gaikwad to book tickets.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: May 05, 2017 12:37 PM

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