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Cases of unruly fliers down from 2015, says international association

Around 9,837 incidents of unruly passenger behaviour were reported in 2016, compared 10,854 in 2015

mumbai Updated: Dec 14, 2017 00:07 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Unruly fliers,International Air Transport Association,alcohol
Around 58,000 unruly passengers have been reported to IATA between 2007 and 2016.(HT File)

Although cases of unruly fliers have reduced marginally around the world, the proportion of more serious incidents have increased slightly, according to report released by trade analyst International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week.

IATA said the report analysed unruly passenger statistics for 2016 and was prepared with the help of 190 airline reports submitted to IATA’s Safety Trend Evaluation, Analysis and Data Exchange System (STEADES).

Around 58,000 unruly passengers have been reported to IATA between 2007 and 2016.

Around 9,837 incidents of unruly passenger behaviour were reported in 2016, compared 10,854 in 2015. “We have seen a slight drop in the number of incidents reported. In 2016, there was one incident every 1,434 flights, compared to one incident every 1,205 flights in 2015,” read the report.

The report said 87% of the incidents comprised verbal abuse — a level 1 offence — while 12% comprised physical act — a level 2 offence. It said an attempt to breach cockpit door was made in less than 1% of the incidents .

The main reason for unruly passenger behaviour, identified in the report, was intoxication via consumption of alcohol or narcotics prior to boarding, or on-board without the crew’s knowledge.

IATA officials said they had witnessed a marginal increase in cases of level 2 unruly behaviour, from 11% in 2015 to 12% in 2016. Such cases involve physically abusive or obscene behaviour, verbal threats of physical violence and tampering with emergency or safety equipment.

According to IATA, non-compliance with safety regulations is also a key issue. Around 54% of incidents were related to passengers smoking on-board, while 34% were of refusal to comply with other regulations such as turning off electronic devices and 14% were of refusal to comply with seat belt signs.

“IATA has comprehensive guidelines for member airlines to prevent and manage unruly passenger and responsible service of alcohol. They are being updated and put in to a new Cabin Operations Safety Best Practice Guide that will be published in early 2018,” stated the report.

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 00:07 IST