DGCA Issues Advisory to Airlines on Dealing with Unruly Passengers: Reinforces Existing Procedures and Highlights Punishments

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Govt of India, has recently issued an advisory to airlines, reinforcing existing procedures for dealing with disruptive passengers. This comes in response to a recent incident where a male passenger was removed from an Air India flight from Delhi to London for causing physical harm to cabin crew members.

Trend of Unruly Behavior The DGCA has observed a concerning trend of passengers smoking and consuming alcohol on board aircraft, leading to unruly behavior, altercations between passengers, and sometimes inappropriate touching or sexual harassment. The regulator has noted that postholders, pilots, and cabin crew members have sometimes failed to take appropriate action in such cases.

Classification of Unruly Passenger Behaviors

DGCA regulations provide for the classification of unruly passenger behavior into three levels, each with varying degrees of punishment:

  1. Level 1: This includes physical gestures, verbal harassment, and unruly inebriation.
  2. Level 2: This covers physically abusive behavior such as pushing, kicking, or sexual harassment.
  3. Level 3: This includes life-threatening behavior such as damage to aircraft operating systems, physical violence, choking, or murderous assault.

Punishments for Unruly Passengers

Based on these levels, an internal committee set up by the airline can decide on the duration for which an unruly passenger can be banned from flying. The duration of the flying ban will depend on the severity of the behavior.

Importance of Enforcing Rules and Regulations

The DGCA advisory emphasizes the importance of airlines enforcing existing rules and regulations, and providing training to pilots, cabin crew, and post-holders on how to deal with unruly passengers. It serves as a reminder to both airlines and passengers to respect the rules and regulations in place to ensure safe and comfortable air travel.

In conclusion, the DGCA’s advisory to airlines underscores the need for strict adherence to procedures for dealing with unruly passengers and highlights the consequences of such behavior. It emphasizes the importance of maintaining a safe and respectful environment on board flights and promoting responsible and respectful travel behavior.