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January 22 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


IndiGo, a prominent Indian airline, recently initiated the process of adding a passenger to the no-fly list following an assault on a pilot due to unruly behaviour amid significant flight delays in Delhi. Unruly behaviour encompasses a range of actions, including consuming alcohol, not obeying instructions, and threatening language, with varying levels of severity.

Levels of Disruptive Behaviour:

  • Level 1: Verbal harassment, physical gestures, and unruly inebriation fall under this category.
  • Level 2: Physically abusive behaviour such as pushing, kicking, inappropriate touching, or sexual harassment.
  • Level 3: Life-threatening behaviour, including damaging aircraft systems or attempting to breach the flight crew compartment.

Airlines’ Response to Unruly Behaviour:

  • Airlines should inform passengers about potential arrests for unruly behaviour as per guidelines.
  • If cabin crew cannot control a passenger, the pilot may decide to land at the nearest available airport.
  • After landing, an FIR is lodged, and the unruly passenger is handed over to the concerned security agency.

Procedure After the Incident:

  • An internal committee, including a retired judge, airline representative, and passengers’ association representative, reviews complaints of unruly behaviour.
  • The committee categorizes incidents into defined levels and determines the ban duration on the unruly passenger.

Penalties for Unruly Behaviour:

  • Airlines can impose an immediate ban of up to 30 days.
  • DGCA maintains a No-Fly List based on shared airline data, allowing other carriers to impose bans of varying durations.

India’s Civil Aviation Market:

  • India ranks as the third-largest aviation market globally, witnessing substantial passenger traffic growth.
  • In 2023, domestic air passenger traffic reached a record high of 15.2 crore passengers, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
  • The civil aviation sector has significant growth potential, supported by government initiatives like UDAN to enhance regional connectivity.

Rules Governing Unruly Behaviour:

  • The Aircraft Rules, 1937, govern unruly passengers, outlining expected passenger behaviour.
  • DGCA, as the regulatory body, ensures safety, airworthiness standards, and coordinates with ICAO.
  • Montreal Protocol of 2014, amending the Tokyo Convention, addresses unruly behavior on board aircraft.

Measures to Contain Unruly Behavior:

  • Montreal Protocol and Tokyo Convention: Prioritize the ratification of international conventions for a clear legal framework.
  • Operationalization of CAT III-Enabled Runways: Expedite the operationalization of CAT III-enabled runways to handle low visibility conditions.
  • Issuance of SOP by DGCA: DGCA should issue a comprehensive SOP for better communication during adverse weather conditions.
  • Improved Communication Protocols: Establish robust communication protocols to keep passengers informed about flight status and delays.
  • Crew Training: Conduct specialized training programs for airline crews to handle unruly passengers effectively.


Addressing unruly behaviour in aviation requires a multi-faceted approach, encompassing strict penalties, efficient internal committees, and international cooperation through ratified conventions. Additionally, improvements in infrastructure, communication, and crew training contribute to ensuring a safer and more secure air travel environment.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the levels of disruptive behaviour on flights and examine the procedures and penalties that airlines, employ to respond to such incidents. Also, Analyse the role of international conventions, and suggest measures to enhance passenger safety and contain unruly behaviour in the aviation sector. (150 WORDS).


January 22
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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