The Centre on Friday announced guidelines for passengers that will be on its new no-fly list. Passengers seen as a threat to others will be barred from flying for a period depending on the nature of the offence they have committed. The offences have been put into three categories – verbal abuse, physical abuse and life-threatening comments.
“The motive behind the no-fly list is safety and security of passengers, which is our priority,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha said.
A Level One offence would include any unruly physical gestures or verbal harassment – including unruly behaviour from drunk passengers – for which the person could be banned from flying for up to three months. For physically abusive behaviour on board or at the airport, or a Level Two offence, a ban of up to six months has been proposed. A minimum ban two years will be imposed on someone damaging any aircraft systems, or assaulting the crew on board, which will be a Level Three offence.
“A decision will be taken by an independent committee under a retired district judge within a period of 30 days of alleged offence,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Twitter. “The no-fly ban will be in addition to any statutory legal action that can be taken against the offender under existing laws.”
After several incidents of misbehaviour were reported at airports and on flights by a few lawmakers, Sinha had on June 20 said that a national “no-fly list” will be rolled out. But the Centre had said the lists would not be mandatory for all airlines to follow.
On Thursday, Sinha had said India is the first country to have a no-fly list on the grounds of safety. “We are going to issue a civil aviation requirement where some identity card number will have to be provided. People who provide Aadhaar numbers will soon be able to get digital boarding cards,” Sinha had said.