Centre issues no-fly norms for unruly, disruptive passengers

New rules regarding action to be taken against unruly behaviour by airline passengers were announced by the government today.

The development comes after the much-publicised incident of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulting an Air India staffer onboard a plane because there was no business class on the flight and he was forced to fly economy (See: Air India, private carriers mull ban on 'slapgate' MP Gaikwad).

The government is also looking to create a national no-fly list of unruly passengers and security threats, civil aviation secretary R N Choubey said. The list would be maintained by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

According to a government release, airlines will maintain a database of unruly or disruptive passengers which will form a national no-fly list. Individuals identified as security threats by the union ministry of home affairs will also be included in the list. Airlines will have to inform these individuals about the inclusion of their names in the no-fly list and the reason for the inclusion.

Instances of unruly behaviour will be defined under three categories. Level 1 will be disruptive behaviour like physical gestures, etc. Level 2 will be physically abusive behaviour like pushing, kicking, sexual harassment etc. Level 3 is for life-threatening behaviour.

Punishment for unruly behaviour will also fall under three categories. The 1st category is 3 months suspension. The punishment for level 2 offences will be 6 months and that for level 3 offences will be 2 years or more of suspension.

An airline can ban the passenger from flying immediately but the passenger won't come on national no-fly list immediately.

Suspension for unruly behaviour applies to domestic carriers; if international carriers want this option they can use it too.

For every subsequent offence, the concerned individual will be barred for twice the period of the previous ban.