Government announces no-fly list rules for passengers

The government has announced the final rules for creating a ‘National No Fly’ list wherein unruly behaviour by air passengers could invite a flying ban ranging from three months to an indefinite period, depending upon the severity of the offence. These rules, which define three levels of unruly behaviour, will be applicable for all Indian airlines engaged in domestic and international transport of passengers.

The move to create such a list follows several unruly incidents involving passengers, including Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who allegedly assaulted an Air India staffer at the Delhi airport for not being allowed to fly business class. Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the concept of a No-Fly List is based “on the concern for safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft, and not just on security threat”. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has revised the relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Requirement — CAR Section 3, Series M, Part Vl on Handling of Unruly Passengers — to bring in a deterrent for passengers who engage in unruly behaviour on board aircraft, the government said in a statement.

Airlines will be required share the No-Fly list with the DGCA, which will maintain the national No-Fly list on its website. However, other airlines will not be bound by the No-Fly list of a particular airline. The Civil Aviation Ministry said the revised CAR would also be applicable to foreign carriers subject to compliance of Tokyo Convention 1963. The Convention allows a contracting country to impose its criminal jurisdiction on an aircraft in flight if there is a breach of flight related rules, in case the offence has been committed by or against a national of that country and if it harms its security.

While these rules deal with unruly behaviour on board an aircraft, similar behaviour at airport premises will be dealt with by security agencies concerned. “The DGCA is a safety regulator and the goal of this exercise is safety, which starts once you board the aircraft. If you are not on the aircraft, it is not within the legal scope or purview of DGCA,” Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shri Jayant Sinha said.