China’s civil aviation authority is to introduce measures to blacklist passengers who become unruly when traveling on planes, in a bid to strengthen air safety.
A system for blacklisting reckless and anti-social passengers who disobey aviation safety rules should be standardized soon and carried out in cooperation with airlines, travel agencies and airports, according to a regulation issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
But the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China has called for the punishment and blacklisting duration to be discussed first among aviation authorities, airline representatives, passengers and legal experts.
The CAAC also urged relevant parties to specify reasons for passengers to be blacklisted by airlines, as well as the punishment procedures.
The regulation follows a series of air rage incidents.
On Dec 11, a Chinese man and his girlfriend on an AirAsia flight from Bangkok to Nanjing had a row with the flight crew over the seating arrangements and provision of hot water. The woman then poured hot water on a female flight attendant and threatened to jump out of the plane while punching seat windows.
The in-flight brawl forced the plane to return to Bangkok, where the couple and two other passengers involved were ordered to pay compensation of 50,000 Thai baht ($1,525) to the flight attendant.
On Jan 10, 25 passengers on a plane in Kunming, Yunnan province, were taken away by police after they quarreled with the crew and opened some of the plane’s emergency exits because the flight had been delayed by bad weather.
Introduction of the blacklisting system is necessary because in-flight conflicts over complaints against legitimate flight delays and disputes among passengers over trivial matters have been increasing in recent years, said Diao Weimin, an associate professor at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China.
But Diao issued a note of caution and called for aviation laws to be updated.
“Initiating the blacklisting system is in line with international conventions, but specific terms including the conditions under which passengers would be warned or blacklisted, the punishment for blacklisted passengers and the duration of the blacklisting should be discussed first.”