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Irish Aviation Industry Signs Declaration to Tackle Unruly Passenger Behaviour

02 Oct 2019

14 organisations operating within the Irish aviation industry have signed a joint declaration, committing to tackle disruptive passenger behaviour on flights. The signing of the joint declaration took place as part of an industry forum organised and chaired by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), the industry safety regulator, as part of its “Not-on-my-Flight” campaign.

The organisations who have signed the agreement are: Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Dublin Airport, Cork Airport, Shannon Airport, Ireland West Airport Knock, Donegal Airport, Kerry Airport, the Commission for Aviation Regulation, Stobart Air and SAS Ireland (Scandinavian Airlines Ireland Ltd.), CityJet and ASL.

Group declaration

Signatories have pledged to work together to prevent and minimise the number of disruptive passenger incidents and promote:

  1. A zero-tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour where safety is a risk
  2. The identification, pre-emption, management and reporting of disruptive incidents
  3. The responsible sale and consumption of alcohol; and
  4. Ongoing education and communication with passengers to continue to raise awareness of the risks associated with disruptive behaviour

Participants from across the aviation industry discussed their concerns around disruptive passenger behaviour at the IAA’s industry forum, in advance of signing the industry declaration.

It comes as figures show there has been an increase in the number of disruptive passenger incidents on flights across Europe.

According to data published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)*, every three hours the safety of a flight within the EU is threatened by passengers demonstrating unruly or disruptive behaviour. At least once a month the situation escalates to such a degree forcing the plane to perform an emergency landing.

Almost three quarters of aviation safety incidents across the EU (72%) involve some form of physical aggression. Safety is compromised by unruly passengers on 1,000 flights in Europe per year due to assaults and alcohol related offenses.

The Irish Aviation Authority’s Head of Corporate Affairs Paul Brandon said there is growing concern at the increasing frequency and severity of these incidents.

“Between 2017 and 2018, the number of reported incidents of disruptive passengers on board flights across Europe increased by a third (34%). This is worrying as it shows an increasing trend and can have a direct impact on both the safety of crew and passengers.

“That’s why the Irish Aviation Authority is collaborating with other organisations in the Irish aviation sector to put measures in place to reduce these incidents. Even though the number of unruly passengers is small considering the total number of people flying, the impact of their actions can have a disproportionate effect both on the smooth operation of the flight and more importantly on its safety.

In August this year, the Irish Aviation Authority joined the international “Not on My Flight” safety initiative, reminding passengers of their responsibilities to fellow travellers and flight crew and to encourage passengers to be mindful of the negative impacts of unruly behaviour.

“Not on My Flight” is an initiative spearheaded by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The campaign highlights examples of unruly behaviour on flights, and the consequences for passengers and crew.  Unruly behaviour can include intoxication, aggressive or inappropriate behaviour as well as not following the commands of flight crew, who are there to protect passenger safety.

Peter Kearney, Chief Executive of the IAA said:

“Flying should be an enjoyable and positive experience for passengers. We’re encouraging all passengers to be respectful to others while on your flight, comply with the crew’s instructions and do not distract the cabin crew from their duties.”

EASA has released a video to highlight the problem of disruptive passengers.  Watch the official #NotOnMyFlight video here.

To read the declaration, visit:

https://www.iaa.ie/docs/default-source/default-document-library/declaration.pdf

 

* Occurrences involving Unruly Passengers from the European Central Repository that were reported by operators from the EASA Member States in accordance with the definitions in Regulation (EU) 376/2014


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