No-fly list rules tilted in favour of airlines

DELHI: Days after the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) proposed three-tier rules for a national no-fly list for ‘unruly passengers’, the passengers have raised concern claiming they are ‘tilted’ in favour of airlines.

The ministry put up the draft on May 5 on their website for gathering inputs from various stakeholders, reports Hindustan Times.

“We have received at least 25 suggestions on the website and social media. Passengers have asked for a balanced rule. We thought it was a balanced rule but now we will take passengers’ concern into account,” said a ministry official.

“There have been cases, when airline officials were at fault and there will be such cases in the future too. The rule should ensure similar penalty for airline staff too. Passengers are concerned that the rules may be misused,” the official added.

The rules come weeks after Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad beat up an elderly Air India employee after altercation over seat allocation. However, civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said, “Keep professor Gaikwad out of it. We need a balanced regulation.”

The national no-fly list will be regulated by India’s civil aviation regulator.

The rules say any gestures or verbal harassment will invite suspension for three months. Physically abusive behaviour will call for a six month flight ban, and any “life-threatening behaviour” will result in a two or more year ban.

Air India has also come up with detailed standard operating procedures to deal with ‘unruly passengers’. The airline has proposed plans to impose a fine of up to ₹15 lakh for causing a delay beyond two hours.


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