Air travellers violating Covid protocol despite warnings to be treated as ‘unruly passengers’: DGCA : The Tribune India

Mukhesh Ranjan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday issued a circular, asking airport authorities, and airline operators to “ensure passengers, without fail, wear masks”, and “maintain social distancing norms”, and in case if any norms are violated, the passenger would be “dealt as per the law” and would be declared “unruly passenger”.  

The move comes after the Delhi High Court directed DGCA that passengers travelling on flights without wearing face mask properly can be offloaded by cabin crew.

In the order, the DGCA said: “Passengers should be de-boarded if they don’t wear a mask properly inside aircraft or don’t follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. If a passenger violates protocol despite repeated warning then he/she should be treated like an unruly passenger.”

Talking about COVID-19 protocols, the DGCA added: “Essentially involves wearing a mask properly that is not blow the nose, during all times of the journey from entering the airport for departure to exiting the airport after arrival.”    

As people are failing to adhere to COVID-19 protocol, the DGCA has ordered the CISF, and other police personnel deployed at the airport entrance, to “ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask”. 

“Chief Aviation Security officers (CASO), and other supervising officers must ensure this personally,” it added.

“The airport director or terminal manager, as applicable, must ensure that passengers are wearing masks properly and maintain social distance at all times within the airport premises. In case any passenger is not following the protocol they should be handed over to the security agency after proper warning. If required, they may be dealt as per law.”

Notably, on Tuesday, the Delhi High Court had directed the DGCA to make its guidelines “widely” known, and ensure “strict” adherence was ensured. 

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