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News Article

Disruptive Passengers Under Scrutiny

By Emilio Aristegui | Mon, 09/27/2021 - 16:49

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently strengthened safety measures in civilian flights in order to protect passengers and crew from disruptive events during flights. These rules also apply to Mexican airlines flying to the US.

In a recent report, the FAA drew attention on unruly-passengers as the agency ramps up its efforts to protect civilian flights and published a digital toolkit to aid the resolution of these incidents. “Zero Tolerance for Unruly and Dangerous Behavior Toolkit – digital products to help promote safe and responsible passenger behavior and bring awareness to the zero-tolerance policy. Products include press releases, videos and graphics.” The zero-tolerance policy includes “up to US$37,000 per violation of unruly passenger cases.” This is a sharp increase from the previous maximum civil penalty of US$25,000 per violation.

The procedures introduced by the FAA will also apply to flights between the US and Mexico. During the Dallas-Cancun route was the most popular flight across both countries, 741,000 passengers during 1H21, followed by Mexico City-Houston with 646,000 passengers and Houston-Cancun with 610,000 passengers, according to the Ministry of Communications and Transport’s (SCT) yearly online traffic statistics database.

Mexico has strict procedures to address disruptive passengers, described by the Aeronautical and Space Law Studies Center (CEDAE) on a report. “Countries like Australia, the UK, the US, France, New Zealand, Japan and Mexico already have repressive legislation for disruptive passengers with typified behaviors. So much that prison sentences have already been handed down to passengers(…) Mexico has a legal framework on unruly passengers in particular if the plane has to land in a terminal to get off and arrest the passengers. All problem passengers end up on a watch list. “

To promote a safe environment in civilian flights, the Ministry of Government (SEGOB) through the SCT has also introduced an official voluntary framework for any person that wants to report an incident. “The purpose of obtaining Voluntary Reports on Operational Safety is to generate an environment of trust, collaboration and security.”

Mexico registered 11.73 million passengers from flights between regular aviation and charter flights in 1H21 according to official data from the SCT and the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC).  The market between Mexico and the US is one of the most important in the region, so complying with FAA regulations is essential to all the different entities involved in the industry.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
FAA, SCT, SEGOB, CEDAE, AFAC
Emilio Aristegui Emilio Aristegui Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst