the-concept-of-the-no-fly-list-th

Context: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) flagged violations of flight safety norms and COVID-19 protocol by television news crews on board an IndiGo flight carrying Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut.

  • As per the DGCA rules, an airline can put an “unruly passenger” on its “no-fly list” for a certain period of time after an internal inquiry.

Analysis

  • The concept of the No-Fly List is based on the concern for safety of passengers, crew and the aircraft, and not just on security threat.
  • The Director General of Civil Aviation has revised the relevant sections of the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) in accordance with the provisions of Tokyo Convention 1963.
  • The Tokyo Convention of 1963 was the international community’s first attempt to provide a uniform code in respect of offences and certain other acts committed on board civil aircraft.
  • The revised CAR deals with unruly behaviour of passenger on-board aircrafts. 
  • Unruly behaviour of passengers at airport premises will be dealt with by relevant security agencies under applicable penal provisions. 
  • The revised CAR will be applicable for all Indian operators engaged in scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, both domestic and international carriage of passengers. 
  • The CAR would also be applicable to foreign carriers subject to compliance of Tokyo Convention 1963.
  • The revised CAR defines three categories of unruly behaviour – 
  • Level 1 refers to behaviour that is verbally unruly, and calls for debarment upto 3 months; 
  • Level 2 indicates physical unruliness and can lead to the passenger being debarred from flying for upto 6 months and 
  • Level 3 indicates life-threatening behaviour where the debarment would be for a minimum of 2 years.
  • The complaint of unruly behaviour would need to be filed by the pilot-in-command. 
  • These complaints will be probed by an internal committee to be set up by the airline. 
  • The internal committee will have to decide the matter within 30 days, and also specify the duration of ban on the unruly passenger. 
  • During the period of pendency of the enquiry the concerned airline may impose a ban on the said passenger. 
  • For every subsequent offence, the ban will be twice the period of previous ban.
  • The airlines will be required to share the No-Fly list, and the same will be available on DGCA website. 
  • The other airlines will not be bound by the No-Fly list of an airline. 
  • The No Fly Lists will have two components – 
  • unruly passengers banned for a certain period based on examination of the case by the internal committee; and 
  • those persons perceived to be national security risk by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The latter component will, however, not be displayed on the DGCA website.
  • The revised CAR also contains appeal provisions against the ban. 
  • Aggrieved persons (other than those identified as security threat by MHA) may appeal within 60 days from the date of issue of order to the Appellate Committee constituted by MoCA.