Government unveils rules to tackle on-board disruptive and unruly behaviour by passengers with No Fly List

Government unveils rules to tackle on-board disruptive and unruly behaviour by passengers with No Fly List

The Ministry of Civil Aviation unveiled rules to tackle on-board disruptive and unruly behaviour by passengers. Briefing the media in New Delhi, the Minister for Civil Aviation Shri P Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the new rules will allow for the formation of a national, No Fly List of such unruly passengers. He said the promulgation of the No – Fly List in India is unique and first-of-its-kind in the world. Emphasizing the Government’s commitment for ensuring safety, Shri Raju said that the concept of the No-Fly List is based on the concern for safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft, and not just on security threat.

Also speaking on the occasion the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shri Jayant Sinha said that the new rules have been promulgated after a lot of deliberation and consultation with all stakeholders. The focus has been on ensuring on board safety while maintaining an element of balance and safeguarding the interest of passengers, cabin crew and the airlines.

The revised CAR defines three categories of unruly behavior – Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment upto 3 months; Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for upto 6 months and Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour where the debarment would be for a minimum of 2 years.

The complaint of unruly behavior would need to be filed by the pilot-in-command. These complaints will be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline. The internal committee will have retired District & Sessions Judge as Chairman and representatives from a different scheduled airline, passengers’ association/consumer association/retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum as Members. As per the CAR provisions, the internal committee will have to decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the duration of ban on the unruly passenger. During the period of pendency of the enquiry the concerned airline may impose a ban on the said passenger. For every subsequent offence, the ban will be twice the period of previous ban.

The airlines will be required to share the No-Fly list, and the same will be available on DGCA website. The other airlines will not be bound by the No-Fly list of an airline. The No Fly Lists will have two components – unruly passengers banned for a certain period based on examination of the case by the internal committee; and those persons perceived to be national security risk by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The latter component will, however, not be displayed on the DGCA website.

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