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Passengers not following COVID-19 protocols may be put on no-fly list: DGCA order

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing protective face masks sit on a plane at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing protective face masks sit on a plane at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, June 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

Passengers refusing to wear a mask properly or follow social distancing norms during a flight despite repeated warnings could be put on a no-fly list for a period of three months to two years or more, according to an order issued by aviation safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The DGCA has also said that if a passenger refuses to comply with the instructions before a flight takes off, then he or she should be deboarded.

“In case, any passenger on board an aircraft refuses to wear mask or violates the COVID-19 protocol for passengers even after repeated warnings during the course of the flight, such passenger may be treated as ‘unruly passenger’ and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger as provided in CAR shall be followed by the concerned airline,” said the DGCA circular issued on March 13.

The civil aviation requirements on unruly passengers provides for an offender to be put on a no-fly list for varying periods — three months for verbal abuse, six months for physical assault and two years or more for life threatening behaviour.

“The internal committee constituted by an airline to look into the incident will decide which category the offence falls,” a senior official of the DGCA explained.

If a passenger is found violating the protocols before boarding a flight, then the DGCA order requires that airport staff hand them over to security personnel after sufficient warnings.

The move follows a Delhi High Court order that passengers without a mask be put on a no-fly list after the judge observed the callous attitude of passengers while he was on an Air India flight from Kolkata to Delhi earlier this month.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2022 9:11:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/passengers-not-following-covid-19-protocols-may-be-put-on-no-fly-list-dgca-order/article34059627.ece