Bruno D’souza, who allegedly molested a hostess on board a Hong Kong-Mumbai Jet Airways flight, was a free bird on Sunday morning.
Arrested on charges of mole-station, D’souza was granted bail against a deposit of Rs 5000.
A stricter legal provision against unruly fliers like him could have made a difference in such cases — the third in less than a week. India’s aviation regulator has woken up to the menace, eight years after The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the world apex body on air travel, issued a guideline asking member countries to urgently act on it.
“Despite a spate of these incidents that threatened the safety of airline crew and passenger, the DGCA is taking its own time to draft the policy,” said a senior operations official requesting anonymity.
ICAO, in guidelines issued in 2002 (HT has a copy of the same), had asked member states to make ‘provisions in the national law’ to clamp down on unruly fliers.
The circular reads: “Cases of unruly behaviour [in] mid-air should be dealt with more seriously than similar cases on ground.” It further says, “States should urgently make the provisions for the safety of passengers and cabin crew.”
Member states were advised to enter into bilateral agreements with countries if the menace was common on flight routes between them.
The guidelines were issued after ICAO, in a worldwide survey, found that such cases were on the rise. According to data then submitted by the International Air Transport Association, a global airline lobby group, such cases rose from 1,132 in 1994 to 5,416 in 1997.
The DGCA has just begun the first draft of the policy but not set any timeline for it. DGCA chief Nasim Zaidi was not available for comment.