Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has slapped another notice to Air India for two incidents onboard its December 6 flight AI-142 from Paris to Delhi wherein a passenger smoked inside lavatory and another peed over a woman’s blanket.
A show cause notice has been served to the airline for not reporting the incident until January 5, 2023. Response of Air India has been lackadaisical and delayed, said DGCA.
Experts for stricter punishment to tackle instances of unruly behaviour on flights
Air India's handling of an incident in which an inebriated male flier allegedly urinated on a woman co-passenger suggests an urgent need for stricter rules to deal with unruly passengers, according to legal and aviation experts.
Instances of inappropriate conduct on flights have gone up in the recent past because airlines try to cover up such incidents due to their commercial interests, the experts said.
According to police, the male passenger, Shankar Mishra, allegedly urinated on a woman co-passenger in her 70s in the business class of the Air India flight from New York to Delhi on November 26 last year.
Delhi Police registered an FIR against him on January 4 on a complaint given by the woman to Air India and arrested him from Bengaluru on Saturday.
To prevent such incidents in future, the experts said, the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) of 2017 for handling of unruly passengers should be amended.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) framed the rules in 2017 after the then Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulted an Air India staff member. Under these rules, unruly behaviour by a passenger onboard a flight is a punishable offence.
Supreme Court lawyer Ujjawal Anand Sharma said lodging an FIR in all cases of unruly behaviour by passengers onboard flights should be made compulsory under CAR, 2017.
(with agency inputs)
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