The government proposed on Friday three-tier rules for a national no-fly list in an attempt to crack down on ill-behaved passengers and powerful politicians who often abuse and bully staff for convenience.
The aviation ministry’s draft rules say any unruly behaviour will invite suspension from flying for a minimum of three months. The maximum penalty could be grounding for two years or more.
The draft rules will be will be put up on the ministry’s website for a month for public comments.
“These provisions are completely open to suggestions,” civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said.
The rules come weeks after Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad beat up an elderly Air India employee after altercation over seat allocation. A video of the assault went viral on social media, triggering nationwide outrage and forcing the politician to apologise in Parliament.
But civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju dismissed any links between the draft rules and the parliamentarian from Maharashtra’s Osmanabad.
“Keep professor Gaikwad out of it. Not all Indians are professor Gaikwad... We need balanced regulation... I expect responses to come which will be balanced...,” civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told reporters.
The rules say any gestures or verbal harassment will invite suspension for three months. Physically abusive behavior will invite a flight ban for six months, and any “life-threatening behaviour” will get the flyer grounded for two years or more.
The national no-fly list will be regulated by India’s civil aviation regulator, the secretary said.