IATA and ICAO introduce new guidance on unruly passengers

11 June 2019 (Last Updated June 12th, 2019 06:17)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have introduced new guidance on unruly and disruptive passengers.

IATA and ICAO introduce new guidance on unruly passengers
ICAO secretary-general Dr Fang Liu, and IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. Credit: International Civil Aviation Organization.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have introduced new guidance on unruly and disruptive passengers.

The new ICAO guidance is titled ‘Manual on the Legal Aspects of Unruly and Disruptive Passengers’.

The document is the result of the adoption of the ‘Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft’ (Montréal Protocol of 2014).

The new guidance will allow national governments to better deal with unruly passengers on international flights by passing appropriate legal measures.

ICAO secretary general Dr Fang Liu said: “Unruly and disruptive passenger conduct can pose distinct threats to the safety and security of aircraft, flight crew and passengers.

“It can also generate costly disruptions to airlines and passengers alike in situations when aircraft must be diverted to manage these incidents.”

Montréal Protocol of 2014 is yet to come into force as it requires ratification from all 22 member states. Kuwait ratified the protocol last year and Uruguay on 5 June.

Two more countries are required to formalise their ratification. The protocol amends the Tokyo Convention of 1963 and provides clarity on what constitutes unruly behaviour.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Enhancing safety is the shared goal for governments and airlines, and deterring unruly and disruptive behaviour on flights is key to this.

“IATA welcomes today’s new ICAO guidance, which is intended to help governments address unruly passengers under their own national law. It covers many practical measures for consideration by policymakers, including ‘on the spot’ fines to boost enforcement action.”