Friday, August 18, 2017 - 0:36:35

Singapore to toughen laws against unruly air travellers

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Singapore (VNA) - Singapore police and courts will get wider powers to deal with troublemakers on flights when a new law is passed in the next 6-12 months.

After consulting airlines operating at Changi airport, Singapore plans to enact its own laws before the global mandate.

Spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said the ability to take such law enforcement action would be a strong deterrence against unruly behaviour on flights en route to Singapore, adding that this would enhance Singapore's status as a safe and secure air hub.

Spokesman of Singapore Airlines Nicholas Ionides said crew are trained to deal with potential cases of passengers who exhibit unruly behaviour.

"Some of these methods include politely declining drinks if the crew discern that the passenger has had too much to drink," he said. "In extreme cases where passengers turn violent, the crew are also trained in appropriate ways to handle them."

Ground staff may also refuse boarding to passengers who have already displayed errant behaviour on the ground, in order to not compromise the safety and comfort of other travellers, he added.

In a survey by the International Air Transport Association, four out of 10 airlines said they have had to divert flights in the last 12 months because of troublemakers.

In 2014, airlines reported 9,316 incidents of such behaviour, or one for every 1,400 flights. From 2007 to 2014, the average was one per 1,530 flights.

Under the current international civil aviation law stipulated by the Tokyo Convention, Singapore can take action only if the culprit arrives on Singapore Airlines (SIA) or other Singapore carriers.-VNA
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