Millennium Post

Govt proposes three levels of punishment for unruly flyers in the wake of Gaikwad-Air India row

The aviation ministry’s draft rules say any unruly behaviour will invite suspension from flying for a minimum of three months. The maximum penalty could be grounding for two years or more.

Govt proposes three levels of punishment for unruly flyers in the wake of Gaikwad-Air India row
The government proposed on Friday three-tier rules for a national no-fly list in an attempt to crack down on ill-behaved passengers and powerful politicians who often abuse and bully staff for convenience. This move comes in the backdrop of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulting an Air India employee in March.

The aviation ministry's draft rules say any unruly behaviour will invite suspension from flying for a minimum of three months. The maximum penalty could be grounding for two years or more.

The draft rules will be will be put up on the ministry's website for a month for public comments.

"These provisions are completely open to suggestions," civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said.

The earlier rules specified the steps to be taken in order to deal with an unruly or disruptive passenger, who had bought the ticket and was either in the airport lounge or had boarded the plane.

However, they did not say anything on creation of a 'no-fly list' — where passengers, if declared unruly by the airlines, would be denied issuance of tickets.

In a letter to Air India CMD, Ministry of Civil Aviation had said the existing Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) were being amended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to facilitate such a list. It also appealed to lift the ban on Gaikwad, reported ANI.

The new rules will be open for public comments for a month, reported ANI. The ministry will study the inputs and subsequently formulate the final CAR.

In 2015 alone, there had been 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by the passengers across airlines worldwide, ANI reported quoting International Air Transport Association figures.

In March, the Shiv Sena MP from Osmanabad had assaulted a 60-year-old AI staffer R Sukumar with his slippers 25 times over a seating issue. Following the incident, flying restrictions had been imposed on Gaikwad which were subsequently lifted after protests by Shiv Sena members and an undertaking by Gaiwad stating that such incidents would not reoccur.
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