Saturday, September 09, 2017

Loaded no-fly rule

New Delhi: Airline passengers may now be refused boarding or offloaded on suspicion that they "are likely to be unruly", according to new rules declared by the civil aviation ministry today.

The rules, which follow several incidents of MPs misbehaving with airline staff, stipulate bans on flying for periods ranging from less than three months to more than two years for actual unruliness, with the duration doubled for repeat offences.

Although the rules define the various levels of actual unruliness, they do not explain who will determine, or how, whether a passenger is likely to become unruly.

"Passengers who are likely to be unruly must be carefully monitored, and if deemed to pose a threat to the safety and security of the flight, fellow passengers or staff while on board aircraft, should be refused embarkation or offloaded," they say.
Officials said the home ministry would come up with its own no-fly list of those suspected or accused of terror-related crimes, but a Supreme Court lawyer told The Telegraph that such an "arbitrary" list was unlikely to stand up to judicial scrutiny.

Today's document, a revised Section 3 of the Civil Aviation Requirement that deals with "handling of unruly passengers", defines three levels of unruly behaviour by passengers:

• Level 1 is verbal harassment, inviting a flying ban of up to three months.

• Level 2 is physical unruliness, carrying a ban of up to six months.

• Level 3 is life-threatening behaviour, to be punished with a flying ban of two years or longer.

Current rules only allow airlines to refuse boarding to a passenger, or to offload him, if his behaviour is considered unruly or disruptive to the safety of flight operations.

The new norms will apply to passengers flying in Indian airspace, whether on a domestic or a foreign flight.

Every airline will be required to publish its no-fly list; all the lists will also be available on the website of the directorate-general of civil aviation.
08/09/17 Telegraph