Sunday, May 07, 2017

What you need to know about the proposed National No-Fly List

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed amendments to the Civil Aviation Requirements to establish a National No-Fly List and quantify punishment for unruly passengers. The proposals are up on the website of the Director General of Civil Aviation for responses from the public till June 4. Here is a quick look at what the draft rules say:

What is the National No-Fly list?

It will be a central database of unruly or disruptive passengers. If an airline decides to ban a passenger for unruly or disruptive behaviour, it will have to inform the DGCA and other airlines and the passenger will become a part of the National No-Fly List.

Is is then a blanket ban?

No. The passenger will not face a blanket ban by all airlines. But the Centre has empowered all airlines to follow the National No-Fly List to ban the passenger.

Who is an unruly passenger?

Passengers with disruptive behaviour such as physical gestures; abusive behaviour such as pushing, kicking and sexual harassment; and life threatening behaviour like creating damage to aircraft systems.

What is the punishment?

The draft rules recommend three-levels of ban on unruly passengers. a) Three months for disruptive behaviour b) Six months for abusive behaviour c) two years or more for life threatening behaviour.

What about repeat offenders?

For every subsequent offence, the unruly passenger may be banned for twice the period of the previous ban.

Are unruly passengers the only ones on the list?

Individuals defined by the Ministry of Home Affairs as national security threats will also form part of the National No-Fly List and cannot be issued a ticket until they are cleared.

Will banned passengers be informed?

Yes. The airline will inform them indicating the reasons for inclusion of their names in the National No-Fly List.
Who will decide on the ban?

The airline can ban the passenger after the incident for the duration it takes for its panel to decide. The panel -- consisting of a retired District and Sessions Judge, representative of a different airline and a representative of passengers' association or a consumer forum member -- will then need to decide on the ban and its level within 10 days of receiving the complaint.

Can the passengers appeal against the ban?

Yes. He or she can appeal to the government, which in turn will set up an appellate Committee of a retired judge of a High Court, a representative of passenger association or consumer forum and a high-level airline executive. The appeal process should be over within 10 days of the ban. But those who are considered ‘national security threats’ cannot appeal.
07/05/17 The Hindu