Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Flight passengers not wearing masks properly must be put on no-fly list: HC

Mumbai: Flight passengers who do not wear facemasks properly and refuse instructions from cabin crew should be "be offloaded without delay" and put on a no-fly list, the Delhi High Court ordered Tuesday.

Justice C Hari Shankar took note of the alleged callous attitude of passengers of Air India's Kolkata-Delhi flight on March 5 on his own and passed directions to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the country’s aviation regulator.

"In the event of any passenger being unwilling to follow this protocol prior to the flight taking off, the passenger should be offloaded without delay. If a passenger, despite being reminded more than once in flight, refuses to follow this protocol, action should be taken against the passenger in accordance with the guidelines issued by the DGCA or Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including placing the passenger on a “no-fly” regimen, either permanently or for a stipulated, sufficiently long, period," the court said.

Shankar said that many passengers on the Kolkata-Delhi flight had worn masks below the chin and displayed resistance to wear them properly. The cabin crew said they were helpless in implementing the mandated protocol.

"Such a situation, in the present scenario, when the country is seeing a resurgence of COVID-2019 cases, after they had shown signs of ebbing, is completely unconscionable," said Shankar.

The DGCA has been instructed to prominently display on its website guidelines and protocols to be followed by passengers on the flight. Written instructions should be provided to all passengers while issuing boarding pass.

09/03/21 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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