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Govt unveils no-fly list and rules to handle unruly air passengers

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The Ministry of Civil Aviation has released draft rules for a “national no-fly list” of unruly passengers for all domestic carriers.  Government has come up with this initiative in wake of a recent incident in which Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, repeatedly hit Air India staff with a slipper as he was not allotted a business class seat on an all economy flight. This incident took place at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in March 2017.

  • This draft is an amendment to the existing Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), a set of rules on unruly and disruptive passengers.

Important Rules for the proposed ‘National No-Fly List’:

  • The ‘National No-Fly List will comprise passengers who have been identified as unruly after an inquiry by a committee formed by that particular airline.
  • The committee will have to complete the inquiry process within 10 days during which the passenger will not be allowed to fly with the airlines.Govt unveils no-fly list and rules to handle unruly air passengers
  • A three-member committee comprising a retired district/sessions judge, representative of a different airline and a member from passengers’ association/consumer association/a retired consumer forum official has been recommended.
  • The passenger has been given a right to challenge the ban and approach an appeals committee which will be set up by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and will be headed by a high court judge.
  • The ‘National No-Fly List’ will also include individuals who have been identified as a threat by security agencies. Moreover, such blacklisted passengers have not been given the right to approach the appeals committee.
  • It is not mandatory for other airlines to follow the ban recommended by the committee.

Government has identified following three levels of unruly behaviours and has also recommended corresponding duration of flying ban:

Level Unruly Behaviour Duration of flying ban
Level – 1 Disruptive behaviour such as physical gestures, verbal harassment and unruly behaviour because of inebriation 3 months
Level – 2 Physically abusive behaviour such as pushing, hitting, grabbing, inappropriate touching or sexual harassment 6 months
Level – 3 Life threatening behaviour such as damage to aircraft operating system, physical violence such as choking or murderous assault and attempted breach of flight crew compartment 2 years or more without limit

  • Any passenger, who repeats the same level of offence, will be banned for twice the period of the previous ban.
  • The draft has been placed in the public domain for 30 days for inputs and feedback from stakeholders. After due consideration, Govt. will release the final set of rules by June 30, 2017