Urination case: ‘Non action tarnished image of air travel’, DGCA to airlines

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rebuked scheduled airlines for their failure to act against unruly passengers in recent days, something the regulator says has “tarnished the image of air travel.” The DGCA on Friday issued an advisory to heads of operations, directing them to act as per rules in such cases after it took a TOI newsbreak to get Air India to act against an inebriated passenger who urinated on a senior woman citizen in business class of a New York-Delhi flight.
The regulator has reiterated that restraining devices should be used on unruly passengers if they do not behave themselves after warning.
“In the recent past, DGCA has noticed a few incidents of unruly behavior 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. Non-action/ inappropriate action/ omission by the airlines towards such untoward incidents has tarnished the image of air travel in different segments of society,” the advisory says.
Reminding them of the responsibilities for handling unruly passengers, the advisory says: “Pilot in command (PIC) is responsible for the safety of the passengers and cargo carried and for the maintenance of flight discipline and safety of the members of the crew in addition to being responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight… PIC responsible for assessing the situation quickly if the cabin crew can control the situation and accordingly relay this information to the airline’s central control on the ground for further action.”
Once the aircraft on which unruly behaviour was witnessed lands, “airline representative shall lodge FIR with the concerned security agency at aerodrome, to whom, the unruly passenger shall be handed over.”
The advisory says that if verbal and written warnings to the offender does not work, cabin crew should use retraining devices “when all conciliatory approaches have been exhausted.”
Cabin crew is responsible for informing the passenger of the repercussion and consequences of such unruly behavior.
Airlines have to report such incidents to the DGCA. “Head of operations are hereby advised to sensitise pilots, cabin crew and director-in-flight services of their respective airlines on the topic of handling of unruly passenger through appropriate means under intimation to DGCA. Any non- compliance towards applicable regulations shall be dealt strictly and invite enforcement action,” it adds.

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