Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Airlines have put 149 unruly passengers on ‘no-fly list’ since 2000 – Usky News

MUMBAI: Airlines have put 149 unruly passengers on the ‘no fly list’ since 2000, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Gen (Dr) VK Singh (Retd) said in a written reply to a question. Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Last month, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson had said that after the pandemic, there has been an increase in incidents of drunken passengers behaving unruly on-board airlines across the world.
The said passengers were barred from flying following the recommendations of the concerned internal committee constituted by the airline as per the unruly passenger handling norms prescribed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA,
The DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section 3-Air Transport, Series M, and Part VI titled “Handling of Unruly/Disruptive Passengers”, states that inter alia, the pilot-in-command’s unruly Behavior complaint. referred by the airlines to an internal committee constituted by the airline.
The Internal Committee will decide the case within a period of 30 days along with the category level of the unruly passenger and the period of ban from flying as per the provisions of the CAR. Pending the decision of the internal committee, the airline may ban such passengers from flying for a maximum period of 30 days. The decision of the Internal Committee is binding on the airline concerned.
If the internal committee fails to take a decision in 30 days, the passenger will be free to fly.
Under these norms, airlines are required to maintain a database of all unruly passengers (after a decision by an internal committee) and report the same to DGCA/other airlines. Based on the information provided by the airlines, a ‘No Fly List’ is maintained by the DGCA.
The Minister said that during the last three years, the license of one pilot has been suspended for a period of 03 months for failing to discharge his duties. The case has neither been reviewed nor dismissed. The said case pertains to Air India flight AI-102 flight on November 26, 2022, in which an inebriated male passenger urinated on a seventy year old female passenger sitting on a business class seat and stripped himself naked.
The woman was too shocked to react, but after the errant passenger left, she informed the crew. However, when the flight landed in Delhi, the rowdy passenger was allowed to leave freely. The woman sent a letter to the airline and the Tata group chairman detailing the incident, following which Air India formed an internal committee. However, till the last week of December, the airline did not register a police case despite repeated requests by the woman passenger. The airline also did not report the matter to the DGCA. A proper FIR was registered only in January after TOI had written about the incident.
In cases of unruly passengers that came to the fore on January 30 this year, a 45-year-old Italian woman was arrested for allegedly punching and spitting at crew onboard the ship. Vistara Airline Flight UK-256 from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai.
On 24 January, police tried to arrest a passenger who allegedly tried to open the emergency exit door in the air. A similar incident took place last week on a London-Mumbai flight in which a passenger tried to open the emergency exit after being provoked to smoke in the toilet. This was the second case of a passenger smoking in the toilet last year, the earlier one involving a woman on an Indigo flight from Kolkata to Bengaluru.


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