Published On: Fri, Jan 6th, 2023

DGCA issues advisory to airlines for handling unruly passengers on board

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday issued an advisory regarding the handling of unruly passengers on board and respective responsibilities as per the regulations. The advisory was issued to heads of operations of all scheduled airlines.

DGCA has noticed a few incidents of unruly behaviour and inappropriate conduct by the passengers

The DGCA asked airlines to use restraining measures when all conciliatory measures are exhausted. The advisory was issued in the wake of a massive outcry over shocking incident where a male passenger urinated on a woman on board Air India flight from New York to New Delhi..

The statutory body said, “In the recent past, DGCA has noticed a few incidents of unruly behaviour and inappropriate conduct by the passengers on board the aircraft during flight, wherein it is observed that post holders, pilots and cabin crew members have failed to take appropriate actions.”

The DGCA said that the pilot of an aircraft is responsible for the safety of passengers and cargo carried and maintenance of flight discipline and the safety of members of the crew. Notably, an individual’s responsibility for the handling of an unruly passenger has been specified under various provisions of Aircraft Rules 1937, DGCA regulations, circulars and manuals of airlines.

The DGCA further stated that it is the responsibility of the cabin crew to defuse a critical situation. The statutory body further added that applying restraining devices should be used only when all conciliatory approaches have been exhausted. Meanwhile, the Director-in Flight services is responsible for reporting such incidents in the prescribed proforma under Cabin safety circular 02/2010 to the DGCA.

Upon landing of the aircraft, airline representative shall lodge FIR with the concerned security agency at aerodrome, to whom, the unruly passenger shall be handed over,” the DGCA said.

Notably, the advisory was issued a day after the DGCA slammed Air India for handling the unruly behaviour, who urinated on a female passenger during a flight from New York to New Delhi. The incident took place on November 26. The aggrieved passenger wrote a mail to Tata Group Chairman N. Chandrasekaran and complained about the incident. The woman said that Air India failed to undertake necessary action against the male passenger.

On Thursday DGCA also slammed the airline for the handling of the entire situation. “For fact finding, DGCA sought the details of the incident from Air India and on the basis of reply of the airline, prima facie it emerges that provisions related to handling of an unruly passenger on-board have not been complied with,” the DGCA said in a statement.

In a similar incident, a man urinated on a woman passenger on Air India’s Paris-Delhi flight on December 6. The airline said that the man was identified and taken into custody by CISF personnel.

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