Saturday, May 06, 2017

No fly list: Unruly Gaikwad got away with apology; for aam aadmi, govt could bar flying for 2 yrs

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad beat up an Air India staffer with his slippers last month. This lead to all domestic airlines promptly barring him from flying. This was particularly inconvenient for the MP in a month when he had to frequently travel to Delhi to attend Parliament. He was allowed back aboard only after a weak apology tendered to the Minister of Civil Aviation. So, will the aam aadmi, who may misbehave in a similar fashion while on board, be allowed back after a mere apology?

Gaikwad's actions have pushed the government to now come out with draft regulations to create a national no-fly list.

What could get you on this list of shame? Verbal and or physical abuse, inappropriate touching while on board besides of course damage to the aircraft or other acts of violence.

Will a mere apology set the record straight? Well, this will have to be decided by a 'Standing Committee' which each airline will have to form to decide on individual cases of inappropriate behaviour within 10 days of the incident. The three-member committee will function as a quasi-judicial body and the penalty that can be imposed for inappropriate behaviour in the skies ranging from three months to two years but could also be extended further.

You could get barred from domestic flying forever, depending on the decision of the standing committees within the airline and then the DGCA.

The draft norms are being put up for public consultations and will become the norm in about two months from now.

In tandem with working on the no-fly list, the government is also mulling making some form of identification mandatory at the time of booking tickets under its 'Digi Yatra' initiatives. Will Aadhar card be made mandatory for booking airline tickets and then tracking the flyer for possible inappropriate behaviour while flying?

MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said today that it has not been finalised whether Aadhar will be mandatory but some form of identification will surely be needed soon.

Remember, there is already a no-fly list of people who have been marked out by India's security agencies as possible security threats and such persons are already barred for life from boarding a domestic flight.
05/05/17 Sindhu Bhattacharya/First Post