Amid multiple reports of unruly behavior by passengers onboard flights, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an advisory to all airlines asking them to action against such behavior during flight operations.
The advisory comes in the wake of a London-bound Air India flight returning to Delhi airport following a mid-air brawl in which a passenger caused “physical harm” to cabin crew members. The advisory also cited several other incidents that have happened in the recent past.
“In the recent past, DGCA has noticed a few incidents of smoking in aircraft. consumption of alcoholic beverages resulting in unruly behavior, altercations between passengers and sometimes inappropriate touching or sexual harassment by the passengers on board the aircraft during the flight, wherein post holders, pilots and Cabin Crew members have failed to take appropriate actions. Such incidents have the potential of compromising the safety of aircraft operations,” read the advisory.
“The individual’s/Airline’s responsibility for handling incidents of unruly behavior including smoking in aircraft, consumption of alcoholic beverages resulting in unruly behavior , altercations between passengers and incidents of inappropriate touching or sexual harassment by the passengers on board the aircraft during the flight have been specified under various provisions of the Aircraft Rules 1937, DGCA regulations. circulars and manuals of Airlines approved/ accepted by DCGA,” it read.
The DGCA advised airlines to sensitize their pilots, cabin crew and post-holders on handling unruly passengers.
“Heads of operations of all Airlines are hereby advised to sensitize their pilots, Cabin Crew and post holders on the handling of unruly passengers through appropriate means including but not limited to training programmes for ensuring effective monitoring, maintenance of good order and discipline on board the aircraft safety of aircraft operations is not jeopardized in any manner,” it read.
Earlier, on Monday, the AI flight, which took off for Heathrow Airport (London) around 6.30 am, returned to Delhi airport around 10 am after the crew reported to pilots about the physical altercation mid-flight.
After the plane landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport in the national capital, Air India filed a police complaint accusing the passenger of “indecent behaviour”.