DGCA reads riot act to flyers violating Covid protocol, warns of de-boarding
- The DGCA said it has been noticed that many passengers are casual about Covid-19 protocol and do not wear masks properly.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (GCA) has warned passengers who do not wear masks properly inside an aircraft even after repeated warnings would be de-boarded.
In a circular Saturday about strict compliance of Covid-19 protocols during air travel, the DGCA said that it has been noticed that some travellers do not adhere to Covid-19 protocols which involves wearing of mask properly during the journey from entering the airport for departure to exiting the airport after arrival.
It asked passengers to wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times during air travel.
“On board the aircraft, in case any passenger does not adhere to wearing of mask properly even after repeated warnings, he/she should be de-boarded, if need be, before departure. In case any passenger on board an aircraft refuse to wear mask or violates the “Covid-19 protocol for passengers” even after repeated warnings, during the course of the flight, such passenger may may be treated as ‘unruly passenger’ …. and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger, as provided in the above mentioned CAR, shall be followed by the concerned airline,” the circular said.
“The airport director/terminal manager, as applicable, must ensure that passengers are wearing masks properly and do maintain social distance at all times within the airport premises. In case any passenger is not following the “Covid-19 protocol”, they should be handed over to security agencies after proper warnings. If required, they may be dealt as per law,” it said.
The DGCA also said that the CISF or other police personnel deployed at the entrance of the airport shall ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask. “CASO and other supervising officers must ensure this personally,” it said.
Earlier this month, a judge of the Delhi High Court who watched passengers pull down their masks on board during a Kolkata-Delhi flight issued a set of guidelines that empowers the cabin crew to offload passengers who do not properly wear their masks. If the plane has already taken off, the judge ordered action should be taken against delinquent passengers that could include permanently barring them from flying.