The government is in discussions with stakeholders to create a national no-fly list to deal with unruly air passengers, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Thursday. Noting that there has been an increase in incidents of unruly behaviour of air passengers, he said the question now is what can be done “pro-actively and preemptively”.
“We are considering and discussing with all stakeholders as to what is the right way to have a national no-fly list with respect to unruly and disruptive behaviour,” he said. The government has been looking at ways to have stricter measures to tackle unruly behaviour by flyers against the backdrop of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulting an Air India staffer at the airport here last month. Air India has proposed up to Rs 15 lakh fine on unruly passengers who end up delaying flights. “You all know from the newspapers and we have heard this with lot of evidence backing this up from all the airlines that incidents of unruly and disruptive behaviour in our skies and on our airlines have been increasing. So, it is in fact a very serious matter we have to think about,” Sinha said at an event, as per a PTI report.
Emphasising that there is a difference between security and safety, he said no-fly lists in other countries are for national security and not for safety. “To have a no-fly list for safety issues is in fact something that would be new to global aviation,” he said, adding that current rules in India and around the world are quite effective in dealing with specific incidents on a specific flight.
At present, Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) issued by safety regulatory Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) specify how to deal with an unruly or disruptive passenger, who have bought the ticket and are either in the airport lounge or have boarded the plane. The existing rules, however, are silent on creation of a ‘no-fly list’ as asked for by the airlines, where a set of passengers declared unruly by the airlines are denied even issuance of tickets.