Airlines put 149 unruly passengers on ‘No Fly List’ since the year 2000


MUMBAI: Airlines have put 149 unruly passengers on `No Fly List’ from the year 2000 till date, said the civil aviation, minister of state, Gen. (Dr) V. K.Singh (Retd) in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Last month, Air India CEO Campbell Wilson had said that instances of inebriated passengers behaving in an unruly manner onboard flights had gone up across airlines, the world over, post the pandemic.
The said passengers were banned from flying following the recommendations of the respective Internal Committee constituted by the airline according to the unruly passenger handling norms laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section 3-Air Transport, Series M, and Part VI titled “Handling of unruly/disruptive passengers”, states that a inter-alia a complaint of unruly behaviour from the pilot-in-command is to be referred by the airlines to an Internal Committee constituted by the airline.
The Internal Committee shall decide the matter within a period of 30 days along with category level of the unruly passenger and duration of ban from flying in terms of the provisions of the CAR. Pending decision of the Internal Committee, the concerned airline may ban such passengers from flying for a period not exceeding 30 days. The decision of the Internal Committee is binding on the airline concerned.
In case the Internal Committee fails to take a decision in 30 days, the passenger will be free to fly.
Under these norms, airlines have to maintain a database of all unruly passengers (after decision by the Internal Committee) and inform the same to DGCA/other airlines. Based on the information provided by the airlines, a ‘No Fly List’ is maintained by the DGCA.
The minister added that during the last three years, licence of one pilot has been suspended for the period of 03 months due to his failure to discharge his duties. The case has neither been reviewed nor revoked. The said case pertains to a November 26 , 2022 flight onboard Air India flight AI-102, in which an inebriated male passenger, exposed himself and urinated on a passenger, a woman in her seventies, seated in a business class seat.
The woman was too shocked to react, but after the erring passenger left, she informed the crew. However when the flight landed in Delhi, the unruly passenger was allowed to walk away scot free. The woman sent a letter to the airline and chairman, Tata Group giving details of the incident, following which Air India constituted an Internal Committee. However the airline did not file a police case, despite repeated requests by the woman passenger, till last week of December. The airline did not inform the DGCA as well about the case. A proper FIR was filed only in January after TOI wrote about the incident.
Among the unruly passenger cases reported this year as the January 30 incident, a 45-year-old Italian woman was arrested for allegedly punching and spatting onboard crew of Vistara Airline flight UK-256 from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai.
On January 24, the police tried to arrest a passenger who allegedly tried to open the emergency exit door mid-air. A similar incident occured last week on a London-Mumbai flight in which a passenger tried to open the emergency exit after he was accosted for smoking in the lavatory. It was the second instance of passenger smoking in the lavatory last year, the earlier case involved a woman onboard an IndiGo flight from Kolkata to Bengaluru.


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