in Air Transport

IATA: Boost for efforts to tackle unruly passengers

Posted 29 November 2019 · Add Comment

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said it looks forward to the entry into force of Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14) on 1 January 2020.

 

MP14 enhances the capacity of states to curb the escalation in the severity and frequency of unruly behaviour on board aircraft.

This follows the 26 November 2019 ratification of MP14 by Nigeria, the 22nd state to do so.

MP14, properly named the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, is a global treaty that strengthens the powers of states to prosecute unruly passengers. It closes a legal gap under the Tokyo Convention 1963, whereby jurisdiction over offenses committed on board international flights rests with the state where the aircraft is registered. This causes issues when unruly passengers are delivered to the authorities upon landing in foreign territories.

Unruly and disruptive passenger incidents on board flights include physical assault, harassment, smoking or failing to follow crew instructions. These incidents may compromise flight safety, cause significant delays and operational disruption and adversely impact the travel experience and work environment for passengers and crew.

"Everybody on board is entitled to enjoy a journey free from abusive or other unacceptable behavior. But the deterrent to unruly behavior is weak. About 60% of offenses go unpunished because of jurisdictional issues. MP14 strengthens the deterrent to unruly behavior by enabling prosecution in the state where the aircraft lands. The treaty is in force. But the job is not done. We encourage more states to ratify MP14 so that unruly passengers can be prosecuted according to uniform global guidelines," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO.

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