The Civil Aviation Ministry on Friday announced draft rules for passengers to be allowed to be put on an airline’s “no-fly” list. Civil Aviation Minister of State Jayant Sinha said that India was one of the only countries to have such a list based on looking out for the safety of passengers, and not just banning those based on their criminal activities.
Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said that there will be three categories for unruly behaviour. The first is disruptive behaviour, the second physically abusive and violent behaviour, while the last is any life threatening actions by a passenger. The punishment for being disruptive will be three months, for abusive behaviour will be two to six months, and for any life-threatening actions it will be two to three years.
The ministry added that the list is not mandatory for all airlines. A “fliers” representative was also a part of the panel that decided on the new rules, NDTV reported. Passengers who have been suspended from flying can appeal against the decision.
The announcement came weeks after Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad had assaulted an Air India employee because he had not got a business class seat on a flight. Gaikwad had allegedly hit the employee more than a dozen times with his slipper. He had initially denied doing it, then demanded an apology from the airline. Air India had banned him from flying with them, after which he had tried using aliases to get on their flights. The airline finally relented after the central government had intervened, but Gaikwad never did apologise for abusing the employee.
According to the International Air Transport Association, there were 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by passengers across world airlines in 2015, which is about one incident for every 1,205 flights, ANI reported.