NEW DELHI: The government plans to tweak the norms to deal with unruly fliers as it looks to provide more clarity on regulatory powers amid debate on airlines barring an MP from flying for assaulting an Air India staff.
While aviation regulator DGCA has guidelines in place to deal with unruly passengers, there is no specific mention about the possibility of barring any individual from flying for disruptive behaviour.
A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said the current Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on 'Handling of unruly/ disruptive passengers' has "some gaps" which needs to be plugged. The Ministry will work towards making some changes in the CAR, which was issued back in November 2014. The revised norms would provide more clarity on preventive measures that can be initiated against any unruly passenger, the official said.
Even though there is no particular mention of regulatory provisions to bar an unruly passenger from boarding an aircraft, the 2014 CAR mentions that "every reasonable effort to protect passengers and personnel against any offence by unruly and disruptive passengers shall be made".
Among others, the CAR provides for airlines to establish mechanism to detect and report unruly passenger behaviour at check-in, in the lounges, and at the boarding gate in order to prevent such people from boarding.
"In case of occurrence of an act of unruly behaviour while the aircraft is on the ground, such cases shall be reported immediately in writing and First Information Report (FIR) lodged with security agency at the aerodrome for assistance," as per the CAR.
Following the assault of a 62-year-old Air India staffer by Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad at the Delhi airport last week, the national carrier as well as six other domestic airlines barred him from taking any of their flights.
The incident as well as the action by the airlines have triggered a controversy on whether an elected representative can be barred from flying in the absence of any specific legal provisions.