The inexorable rise in passenger disruption on aircraft has been stemmed in "countries where procedures and legislation have been put in place" to combat the problem, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

As a result, the 64 airports, airlines and other organisations that met at an IATA seminar on 23 March in Geneva have signed a new memorandum of understanding on recommended practices for handling disruptive passengers.

IATA cited the UK as an example of a country with legislation enabling airlines to prosecute passengers who endanger a flight or crew, saying that UK figures show a slight decline in disruptive passenger incidents while in most places they are going up. Countries have been slow to push through new legislation, with only Canada and Malaysia following the UK.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority says that, from April last year to this February, there were 72 reported safety-threatening passenger behaviour incidents, which projects to an annual rate of 84. The previous 12 months showed 90 such events from lower passenger numbers. Based on figures supplied by airlines, "incidents of seriously disruptive passenger behaviour are limited to about one in every 4 million passengers", says IATA.

Source: Flight International