Only one Indian passenger has made it to national ‘No-Fly’ list
BENGALURU: Even as GoAir and Spicejet on Wednesday joined Air India and IndiGo in banning comedian Kunal Kamra for heckling television anchor Arnab Goswami, it appears that the major initiative by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to create a national No-Fly list to deter unruly flyers has not been very fruitful.
The rules for this list were notified on September 8, 2017. Over two years down the line, but only one Mumbai-based jeweller has been listed under it, said a highly placed aviation source.
Kamra is a potential candidate for becoming the second flyer to make it to the notorious list, he added. The DGCA created this list as an aftermath of the physical assault on an elderly employee of Air India by a Shiv Sena MP over seat allocation issues. The rules fall under the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) Section 3, Air Transport Series M Part VI.
The only one on the list, Birju Kishore Salla (37), a multi-millionaire who was on a Mumbai-Delhi Jet Airways flight, earned notoriety by writing a false note on hijackers and bomb in the cargo area of the flight forcing an emergency landing of the plane at Ahmedabad airport, he explained.
The note had also asked for flight to be flown to Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The then Civil Aviation Minister recommended Salla’s name be put on the list.
Salla’s reasons were romantic as he wanted his girlfriend who works for Jet Airways in Delhi to return to Mumbai and hoped this episode would force Jet to shut shop.
CAR rules recognise three categories of unruly behaviour, with category three the harshest one and deals with issues affecting the safety of the aircraft and the individual faces a two-year ban from flying.
With Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Suri calling upon airlines to ban him and the DGCA too backing Indigo’s six-month ban, Kamra is set to make it to the list. “Definitely not under the third category but he could make it to the first or second one,” an airline source said.
DGCA SAYS INDIGO ACTION AGAINST PASSENGER AS PER RULES
The DGCA on Wednesday backed the stand taken by IndiGo in connection with passenger Kunal Kamra and asserted that it falls under the purview of rules prescribed by it. A decision on banning the passenger for six months will be taken by the DGCA’s internal committee within 30 days and this would be binding on the airline, said an official statement. “Punishment for different types of unruly behaviour is also prescribed in CAR and the internal committee will have to adhere to it,” the DGCA added.