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Air India bans Shankar Mishra from flying for four months

As per the norms, Mishra may appeal against the ban to an Appellate Committee constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.Premium
As per the norms, Mishra may appeal against the ban to an Appellate Committee constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

  • The independent three member internal committee has concluded that Shankar Mishra is covered under the definition of ‘unruly passenger’ and is banned from flying for a period of 4 months as per the relevant provisions of the civil aviation requirements, Air India said

NEW DELHI : Air India has banned Shankar Mishra from flying with the airline for four months after an internal committee determined that he was an unruly passenger who urinated on a co-passenger.  

 “The independent three member Internal Committee under the Chairmanship of the former District Judge has concluded that Shankar Mishra is covered under the definition of “unruly passenger" and is banned from flying for a period of 4 months as per the relevant provisions of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR)," an Air India spokesperson said.

 “The passenger has already been put on the airline’s “No Fly List". Air India has shared a copy of the Internal Committee report with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and will also be intimating other airlines operating in the country," the airline added.  

Mishra is accused of urinating on a co-passenger, a woman in her 70s, on a 26 November New York-Delhi flight of Air India. Mishra, a senior executive at US financial services firm Wells Fargo, has since been terminated by his employer. Delhi Police also arrested Mishra from Bengaluru on 7 January, and he has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.

The incident had come to notice of the Indian civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation on 4 January and the regulator had stated that prima facie it emerges that provisions related to handling of an unruly passenger on-board have not been complied with.  

 “The conduct of the concerned airline appears to be unprofessional and has led to a systemic failure," the DGCA had said.

Additionally, Air India has to respond to the show-cause notice issued by the DGCA in the matter. The showcause notice was sent to the airline’s Accountable Manager, Director in-flight Services, all the pilots and cabin crew members of that flight as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for dereliction of their regulatory obligations.  

For any person who is placed on the No-Fly List, the civil aviation norms state that airlines shall have option to bar the disruptive passenger from taking flights to/from/within India. Sale of ticket by mistake to such a person shall not confer a right upon him to fly.  

A passenger can be barred from flying for up to three months, up to six months, or for a minimum period of two years or more without limit as per the decision of the committee on the disruptive behaviour. For every subsequent offence, the person will be banned for twice the period of previous ban.

As per the norms, Mishra may appeal against the ban to an Appellate Committee constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The decision of the Appellate Committee shall be final in so far as the government is concerned. Any further appeal shall lie in a High Court.

 “Although unruly passengers represent only a minute proportion of passengers as a whole, we must never forget that one aggressive passenger can jeopardise safety on board," the civil aviation requirement on unruly passengers' states.

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