According to recent information given by India’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K.Singh (Retd), from 2020 until present date, 149 passengers have been placed on India’s ‘No Fly List’
The problem of unruly air passengers
Incidents involving unruly passengers are a global issue and are not limited to India. However, India has seen a higher number of such incidents in recent years.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), India has one of the highest rates of reported incidents of unruly passenger behavior in the world.
There are several factors that contribute to this, including cultural norms, alcohol consumption, and lack of awareness about in-flight conduct.
Passengers in India often have different expectations about airline travel and sometimes may not be aware of the rules and regulations that apply to behavior on board an aircraft.
Additionally, alcohol is readily available at many airports in India, can be identified as a potential factor leading to problematic behavior on flights.
To address this issue, the Indian government has implemented stricter penalties for unruly behavior on flights, including fines and imprisonment.
Airlines in India have also increased training for their crew members to better handle such situations.
Overall, while incidents of such behavior may be more common in India compared to other countries, efforts are being made to improve the situation and ensure the safety of all passengers on board.
Government of India statement
A recent statement from the Government of India’s Press Information Bureau outlines the problem in recent years.
According to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. (Dr) V. K.Singh (Retd), 149 passengers have been placed on the nation’s ‘No Fly’ list.
Specifically, during the last three years, from 2020 till date, the 149 passengers were placed in the ‘No Fly List’ for a period, as per the recommendations of the respective Internal Committee constituted by the airlines. In the last three years, no such case has been revoked.
The Standard Operation Procedures (S0P), as per the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section 3-Air Transport, Series M, and Part VI titled “Handling of unruly / disruptive passengers”, inter-alia provides:
(i) 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) Pending decision of the Internal Committee, the concerned airline may ban such passenger from flying for a period not exceeding 30 days.
(iv) 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.
(v) The airlines shall maintain a database of all unruly passengers (after decision by the Internal Committee) and inform the same to DGCA/other airlines.
(vi) Based on the information provided by the airlines, ‘No Fly List’ is maintained by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
In addition to these passenger restrictions, the license of one pilot was also suspended for a period of 3 months due to his failure to discharge his duties.