Govt plans national no-fly list for passengers with ‘disruptive behaviour’

The Centre is in the process of establishing a national “no-fly list” for unruly passengers in the aftermath of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad assaulting an Air India staffer on-board a plane.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2017 13:54 IST
Dhrubo Jyoti
Dhrubo Jyoti
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ravindra Gaikwad,No-fly list,Unruly fliers
MoS Jayant Sinha said the government is mooting to implement a national “no-fly” list to keep unruly fliers off flights.(Reuters)

The government is planning a national “no-fly” list to keep unruly passengers off flights, junior civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha said on Saturday, defending a decision to revoke an air travel ban on controversial Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad.

In a series of tweets, Sinha insisted that investigation into cases lodged against Gaikwad – accused of assaulting an elderly Air India employee on board a flight last month – would continue and that the safety and security of passengers and crew was the government’s priority.

“Unruly / disruptive behaviour will result in severe consequences. This includes police action for a specific incident as well as being placed on a no-fly list,” the Hazaribagh MP wrote.

“MoCA is strengthening rules so that a national no-fly list can be implemented, such incidents can be prevented, and safety improved.”

Air India and five other airlines banned the Osmanabad MP from flying hours after videos of the alleged assault went viral on social media. The ban was lifted on Friday after the civil aviation ministry intervened, following Gaikwad’s apology to Parliament and letter of “regret” to minister Ashok Gajapati Raju.

Sinha defended the decision that many say lets the MP off the hook without even an actual apology to the victim, 60-year-old Air India employee Sukumar. “A flying ban is meant to prevent future unruly behaviour, not to punish past behaviour. We now have an undertaking for future behaviour.”

The airlines had demanded a no-fly list that exists in some countries such as the United States but which many say is biased against people of particular races religions. Gaikwad has remained defiant and refused to apologise to the Air India employee, calling the staff “mad”.

First Published: Apr 08, 2017 16:00 IST