Govt mull steps to check unruly passengers as Sena MP assaults AI staffer

London Heathrow, United Kingdom - May 25, 2013: An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner with the registration VT-ANK on approach to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the United Kingdom. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the world's first major airliner to use composite materials in the construction of its airframe. Air India is the flag carrier airline of India with 99 planes in operation.

The government is working on an institutional mechanism to check “undesirable flight behaviour” while Air India is mulling preparing a no-fly list for unruly passengers.

This follows an incident at the IGI airport n which a Shiv Sena MP allegedly assaulted a 60-year-old airline staffer.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said such regrettable incidents should never happen again.

“We are also working on creating institutional mechanisms to check undesirable flight behaviour or unruly passengers,” Raju said in a series of tweets.

Following the incident, the national carrier is also looking to have a no-fly list.

“Air India is examining creation of no-fly list of unruly passengers on the lines of other carriers,” a senior airline official said.

Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who was flying on an Air India flight from Pune to Delhi, hit the airline’s duty manager Sukumar with his slipper several times when the latter urged him to deplane after the lawmaker refused to do so once the plane landed at the Delhi airport.

“The MP turned violent, broke the duty manager’s spectacles, tore his shirt and hit him with slippers several times,” an airline source said.

Gaikwad, carrying a business class ticket, insisted on taking the airline’s early morning flight AI-852 from Pune to Delhi, which is an all-economy class. This led to an argument with the airline employees in Pune and an assault on the manager by the MP when the aircraft landed in Delhi.

In recent times, there have been reported incidents of unruly behaviour by the fliers onboard various airlines.

Last month, AirAsia India filed a police complaint in Bengaluru against two drunk fliers for creating “nuisance” onboard one of its flights.

In January, IndiGo was forced to tie down a passenger to his seat for being violent onboard one of its flights from Dubai to New Delhi.

According to the officials, between July 2016 and February 2017, 53 incidents of unruly behaviour by passengers have been reported by domestic airlines.

Global aviation body International Air Transport Association (IATA) had earlier said “unruly passengers” are one of the top three safety issues that concern cabin crew.

In 2015, there were 10,854 reported cases of unruly behaviour by passengers across airlines worldwide, which translate into one incident for every 1,205 flights, according to IATA.