Friday, September 08, 2017

India's first No-Fly list released by Aviation Ministry

New Delhi: Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today released India's first ever No-Fly list that bans unruly passengers from domestic air travel from three months to two years or beyond depending on the level of offense.
The government earlier this year had announced draft rules for a national 'no-fly list' following consultations from the public and the industry stakeholders on the guidelines.
The draft guidelines followed Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad's misbehaviour with an Air India employee in March. Gaikwad was barred from flying by all domestic airlines before the ban was revoked. After the incident, the flag carrier had placed a ban on flying the Shiv Sena MP.
Other private air passenger carriers' also imposed a similar ban on the Shiv Sena MP which was subsequently lifted on advice of the Civil Aviation Ministry after Gaikwad expressed "regrets" in the Lok Sabha over the March 23 incident.
Currently, rules only allow airlines to refuse boarding or off-loading of a passenger whose behaviour is deemed as unruly or disruptive to the safety of flight operations.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, "We have tried to achieve a balance between aircraft security and interests of passengers, cabin crew and airlines at large".
For repeat offenders, the ban will be twice the period of previous ban.
The Ministry highlighted that the complaint would have to be addressed by the pilot in command of the aircraft. An internal committee then formed by the airline, consisting of a District and Sessions judge as Chairman and Members from different scheduled airlines and passenger/consumer association/retired officer of Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum would examine the complaint and decide within 30 days on the duration of the ban. During this period, the concerned airline could impose a ban on the accused passenger.
08/09/17 Poulomi Saha/India Today