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No-fly list: Govt proposes maximum 2-year ban on unruly flyers

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Draft rules, a first of kind in the world, have three levels with progressively higher sanctions

Almost a month after the country was shocked by the visuals of a parliamentarian assaulting an airline crew member for not being able to provide a business class seat as it didn’t exist, the government took steps to empower airlines to ban

The centre on Friday released draft rules for a ‘no-fly list’ — a first of its kind in the world — for The rules allow airlines to bar a passenger from three months to maximum two years depending on the intensity of the offensive behaviour. The government has placed disruptions from flyers into three categories — level-1 will include disruptive behaviour such as physical gestures etc., level-2 will be physically abusive behaviour like pushing, kicking and sexual harassment, and level-3 is for life-threatening behaviour and damage to aircraft operating systems.

for unruly behaviour will simultaneously depend on the category of the offence.

The corresponding time of grounding for offenders, would be three months for level-1 and six months for level-2, while level-3 will attract a ban of two years. The new rules will be open for public comments for a month, and will pass through stakeholders’ consultation before being finalised.

“There is no other country in the world with a based on safety. There are no-fly lists based on security where people are seen as grave threats and they are not allowed to fly. India is blazing a new trail in this regard,” Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation said.

What happens when a passenger feels that he has been wrongly barred from flying? The government has proposed to form two redressal committees — initially at the airline level, headed by a retired district judge and secondly, at the national level, headed by a retired high court judge. “All such grievances will be addressed within 10 days,” Civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said.

Choubey said that while domestic carriers would be entitled to impose the bans, foreign airlines too can use these inputs if they want to. “Airlines can ban a passenger from flying immediately but that passenger won’t come on the national immediately,” he added.

A senior airline executive said that have become a safety and security issue and the should be made harsher. “To be effective they should be doubled for level-1 and level-2 and for life threatening activities there should be a lifetime ban,” the executive said.

A second airline executive said that the government needs to smoothen the process for filing complaints. “A lot of incidents go unreported as the crew cannot come to airport police stations day after day for investigations. The process has to be streamlined,” he said.

Global airline lobby group International Air Transport Organisation (IATA) urged India to ratify the Montreal Protocol 2014. “Unruly passenger incidents affect airlines around the world on a daily basis, we urge India to ratify it to enhance deterrent against disruptive passenger incidents,” IATA said.

In March, the Shiv Sena MP from Osmanabad had assaulted a 60-year-old AI staffer with his footwear “20-25 times” over a seating issue. Following the incident, flying restrictions had been imposed on Gaikwad, but were subsequently lifted after protests by Shiv Sena members and an undertaking by Gaikwad stating that such incidents would not occur again.

“Enactment and enforcement of this law should not be partial or discriminatory and nobody including lawmakers should be above this law,” said Mark Martin of Marttin Consultancy, an aviation consultancy firm.

No-fly list: Govt proposes maximum 2-year ban on unruly flyers

Draft rules, a first of kind in the world, have three levels with progressively higher sanctions

Draft rules, a first of kind in the world, have three levels with progressively higher sanctions Almost a month after the country was shocked by the visuals of a parliamentarian assaulting an airline crew member for not being able to provide a business class seat as it didn’t exist, the government took steps to empower airlines to ban

The centre on Friday released draft rules for a ‘no-fly list’ — a first of its kind in the world — for The rules allow airlines to bar a passenger from three months to maximum two years depending on the intensity of the offensive behaviour. The government has placed disruptions from flyers into three categories — level-1 will include disruptive behaviour such as physical gestures etc., level-2 will be physically abusive behaviour like pushing, kicking and sexual harassment, and level-3 is for life-threatening behaviour and damage to aircraft operating systems.

for unruly behaviour will simultaneously depend on the category of the offence.

The corresponding time of grounding for offenders, would be three months for level-1 and six months for level-2, while level-3 will attract a ban of two years. The new rules will be open for public comments for a month, and will pass through stakeholders’ consultation before being finalised.

“There is no other country in the world with a based on safety. There are no-fly lists based on security where people are seen as grave threats and they are not allowed to fly. India is blazing a new trail in this regard,” Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation said.

What happens when a passenger feels that he has been wrongly barred from flying? The government has proposed to form two redressal committees — initially at the airline level, headed by a retired district judge and secondly, at the national level, headed by a retired high court judge. “All such grievances will be addressed within 10 days,” Civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said.

Choubey said that while domestic carriers would be entitled to impose the bans, foreign airlines too can use these inputs if they want to. “Airlines can ban a passenger from flying immediately but that passenger won’t come on the national immediately,” he added.

A senior airline executive said that have become a safety and security issue and the should be made harsher. “To be effective they should be doubled for level-1 and level-2 and for life threatening activities there should be a lifetime ban,” the executive said.

A second airline executive said that the government needs to smoothen the process for filing complaints. “A lot of incidents go unreported as the crew cannot come to airport police stations day after day for investigations. The process has to be streamlined,” he said.

Global airline lobby group International Air Transport Organisation (IATA) urged India to ratify the Montreal Protocol 2014. “Unruly passenger incidents affect airlines around the world on a daily basis, we urge India to ratify it to enhance deterrent against disruptive passenger incidents,” IATA said.

In March, the Shiv Sena MP from Osmanabad had assaulted a 60-year-old AI staffer with his footwear “20-25 times” over a seating issue. Following the incident, flying restrictions had been imposed on Gaikwad, but were subsequently lifted after protests by Shiv Sena members and an undertaking by Gaikwad stating that such incidents would not occur again.

“Enactment and enforcement of this law should not be partial or discriminatory and nobody including lawmakers should be above this law,” said Mark Martin of Marttin Consultancy, an aviation consultancy firm.

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Arindam Majumder

Business Standard

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