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New Legislation To Crack Down On Unruly Air Passengers In These 22 Countries: IATA

Five years after the aviation community worldwide vowed to tackle disruptive passengers, a new policy will finally take effect on New Year’s Day. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that the Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14) will take effect on 1 January 2020- at least in the 22 Countries that have ratified it. 

According to the Independent, the IATA hopes the agreement “enhances the capacity of states to curb the escalation in the severity and frequency of unruly (behaviour) onboard aircraft”. Chris Goater, Assistant Director of Corporate Communications for Europe at IATA, further added on saying “we want as many countries as possible to ratify this treaty”. While some countries, including the US and the UK, have their own regulations, this isn’t the case for most nations. 

In line with the latest available data by IATA, there is an average of one incident per every 1053 flights. Three out of every five cases of severe inflight disruption go unpunished due to “jurisdictional issues”. At present, jurisdiction over offences committed onboard international flights- such as assault, smoking or ignoring crew instructions- rest with the country where the aircraft is registered.  

It costs about USD 200,000 for diverting to offload a disruption from a traveller on flights.

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General of IATA, said that three out of five cases of serious inflight disruption go unpunished, however, the Montreal Protocol enables officials in the arrival country to prosecute the passenger under local laws- and make it easier for airlines to recover the costs a diversion from the passenger involves.

With the cost of diverting to offload a disruption from a traveller can exceed USD 200,000, helps ensure potential consequences for unruly behaviour onboard, while also strengthening jurisdiction and enforcement to help prevent future such incidents. “The protocol will also serve to enhance global aviation security provisions by expressly extending legal recognition and protections to in-flight security officers”, added an official of IATA.

Currently, these are some of the countries that have ratified the MP14 protocol are Kazakhstan, Paraguay, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Nigeria, Congo, Jordan, Japan, Dominican, France, Bahrain, Egypt, Brazil,Kuwait, Australia, Canada, China, United Arab Emirates, United States, Nepal, Norway, Mexico, Malaysia, India, European Union, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, Pakistan and Argentina.

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