cares trade-policies boost-for-efforts-to-tackle-unruly-passengers
In 2019, Eurocare organised two events (one in Palma and one in Brussles) to draw attention to the issue of unruly passengers and excessive alcohol consumption during the holidays. It is with great pleasure that we observe entry into force of Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14), it will become binding on 1st January 2020.
MP14 enhances the capacity of states to curb the escalation in the severity and frequency of unruly behavior on board aircraft.
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.
In 2017, there was 1 unruly passenger incident for every 1,053 flights. Between 2007 and 2017 there were over 66,000 incidents reported to IATA. Globally, alcohol intoxication is identified as a factor in around 27% of unruly and disruptive passenger incidents.
Even though, unruly passenger incidents are rare, but when they do happen, can have serious consequences and cause inconvenience for other passengers and employees working onboard and at airports. Such incidents include physical assault, harassment, smoking or failing to follow crew instructions. They 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.
States should also review the effectiveness of the enforcement mechanisms available to them in line with ICAO Guidance on Legal Aspects of Unruly and Disruptive Passengers (ICAO Document 10117) which gives information on how civil and administrative fines and penalties can be used to supplement criminal prosecutions.