The much awaited “no fly” list for disruptive and unruly passengers travelling by air in India has been unveiled by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday. This comes as a respite for airlines which had been long demanding such intervention.
The DGCA also revised the relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR Section 3, Series M, Part Vl on “Handling of Unruly Passengers”) to work as a deterrent for passengers who engage in unruly behaviour on board aircrafts. The revision has been done in accordance with the provisions of Tokyo Convention, 1963.
The revised CAR defines three categories of unruly behaviour: Level one refers to verbally unruly behaviour and calls for debarment up to three months, level two indicates physical unruliness and can lead to debarment up to six months, and level three involves life-threatening behaviour where the debarment would be for a minimum of two years and may stretch up to an indefinite period.
The Minister for Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the new rules will allow 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 and 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.”
Kanu Gohain, former DGCA chairman, while speaking to The Sunday Guardian, said, “The no fly list is a very good step taken by the government to check bad behaviour of the passengers, but the airlines need to set up a consortium and ensure universal no fly compliance by all airlines to give it more teeth.”
He added that the details of the no fly list passenger need to be brought out in the public platform so that all airlines are aware of such passengers.
The need and demand for a No fly list gained more voice after a Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad was allegedly seen misbehaving with a flight attendant on board in a flight from New Delhi to Mumbai.
According to formulated provisions, the No fly list will be maintained by all the airlines and submitted to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) from time to time which is then to be uploaded on the DGCA website. However, it is not binding on any airline to comply with the no fly list of another airline.