Ministry of Civil Aviation Current Affairs

Draft Rules for No Fly List for Banning Unruly Passengers Unveiled

The government has released draft rules for a ‘no-fly list’ for banning unruly passengers. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had set up a committee to come up with the final draft of the new set of rules. The new rules would be opened for public comments for a period of one month. After receiving comments, the civil aviation ministry would study the comments and then will release the final Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR).

Salient Highlights

The government has come up with three levels of disruptions for flyers:

Level 1

Disruptive behaviour such as physical gestures. The unruly passenger would be suspended from flying for a time period of three months.

Level 2

Physically abusive behaviour and sexual harassment. The passenger would be suspended from flying for a time period of six months.

Level 3

Murderous assault or life-threatening behaviour as well as causing damage to aircraft operating systems would invite suspension from flying for a time period of 2 years or more.

The above punishments would be applicable to the domestic carriers but the international airlines can also make use of these inputs if they want to.

Background

The draft rules come at the backdrop of an assault of Air India employee by Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad in March. The existing Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) specify the steps that need to be taken to deal with unruly passengers. However, those rules are silent about the creation of a no-fly list. So, the existing Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) are being amended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

In the year 2015 alone, around 10,854 incidents of unruly behaviour by passengers have been reported worldwide.

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‘Digi Yatra’ initiative to make flying simpler

The Ministry of Civil Aviation under the proposed “Digi Yatra” initiative is looking forward to make boarding pass and security check-ins digital at airports using Aadhaar and mobile phones. Under this initiative, a digital mode for airport entry and verification of passengers would be used. The move is aimed to ease the security and boarding procedure. In a sum, the initiative aims to make the whole air travel experience completely digital. According to the civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha, the proposed initiative would not require any paperwork and the traveller will be securely identified through Aadhaar number, passport or other documents. The ministry is now working on establishing a uniform set of standards and protocols which can be applied across the system. The ministry expects to roll out the initiative in the coming months.

In addition, the ministry is also in the process of coming up with an approach to have a no-fly list based on safety. The government has decided to come with a no-fly list in the wake of instances of unruly behaviour by air passengers that endanger the safety of all passengers in an aircraft. By having a ‘no fly list’, the government wants to ensure that the unruly passengers are not able to fly and are appropriately dealt with.

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