India may soon have no-fly list of unruly travellers

Unruly flyers who seriously endanger flight security or prove to be a threat to co-passengers and crew may soon be barred from taking to the skies. India is considering its own version of a No-Fly List as part of a massive aviation security revamp that has been taken up at the highest levels of the government.

“We are working on systems for better passenger tracking to en sure a smoother and safer air travel experience for all,” junior aviation minister Jayant Sinha told TOI, soon after the newspaper reported the “full Monty” episode. Asked if this `tracking’ would include barring people convicted of serious aviation felonies, the minister said, “We are considering this along with a number of other options.”

The concept of No Fly List has emanated from the US, where the federal government terrorist screening center maintains a list of people who are barred from boarding commercial flights into and out of America and even over its airspace.

In recent months, there have been several cases of unruly passengers threatening the safety of their flight or co passengers. Apart from the dangerous, there are vulgar flyers, too. Last month, a flyer stripped himself bare in the lavatory of an aircraft while flying from Bhubaneswar to Delhi and then tried to call air hostesses inside by ringing the crew bell! The authorities will have to determine the criteria for putting people on this list, in case the move is cleared by the government.

Sources said the threat from unruly passengers is increasingly being seen as a real challenge as India evaluates its entire gamut of aviation security in the current situation.

Sinha is working on strengthening aviation security along with the home ministry under the overall guidance of the PMO.
The government’s pro posed regional connectivity scheme has the potential of opening new airports with e timates of the number of operational airports going from current 75 to 150 in less than a decade along with the number of aircraft rising from 400 to 1,200 in the same time.

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