‘Use restraining devices’: DGCA issues advisory to airlines on unruly passengers

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 of they do not behave themselves after warning.
“These devices look like handcuffs and are to be kept in aircraft cabin to be used to restrain unruly passengers of level 3 type — abusive physically violent category. Some airlines in India like AirAsia India are (already) keeping it in aircraft cabin,” said a senior DGCA official.

Man urinating case: DGCA issues show cause notice to Air India

Man urinating case: DGCA issues show cause notice to Air India

“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 says.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo — the company in which the unruly passenger of the Air India New York-Delhi flight was employed — has terminated him, finding the “allegations deeply disturbing”.
“We are cooperating with the law enforcement …,” it said in a statement issued on Friday.

WhatsApp Image 2023-01-06 at 6.29.24 PM.

Watch Air India urination incident: DGCA issues advisory to airlines

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