Ireland’s Aviation Industry Unites to Combat Unruly Passenger Behaviour

Ireland’s Aviation Industry Unites to Combat Unruly Passenger Behaviour

14 organisations operating within the Irish aviation industry have signed a joint declaration, committing to tackle disruptive passenger behaviour on flights.

The declaration comes as figures show there has been an increase in the number of disruptive passenger incidents on flights across Europe.

According to figures published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) almost three quarters of aviation safety incidents across the EU (72%) involve some form of physical aggression. Safety is compromised by unruly passengers on 1,000 flights in Europe per year due to assaults and alcohol related offenses

The signing of the joint declaration took place as part of an industry forum organised and chaired by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) as part of ‘Not on My Flight,’ an initiative spearheaded by the EASA. The campaign highlights examples of unruly behaviour on flights, and the consequences for passengers and crew.

Amongst those who have signed the declaration are Ireland’s major airlines, 7 airports and the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

Signatories have pledged to work together to prevent and minimise the number of disruptive passenger incidents and promote:

  • A zero-tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour where safety is a risk
  • The identification, pre-emption, management and reporting of disruptive incidents
  • The responsible sale and consumption of alcohol; and
  • Ongoing education and communication with passengers to continue to raise awareness of the risks associated with disruptive behaviour

EASA figures show that every three hours the safety of a flight within the EU is threatened by passengers demonstrating unruly or disruptive behaviour. At least once a month the situation escalates to such a degree forcing the plane to perform an emergency landing.

The Irish Aviation Authority’s Head of Corporate Affairs Paul Brandon said there is growing concern at the increasing frequency and severity of these incidents.

He said, ‘Between 2017 and 2018, the number of reported incidents of disruptive passengers on board flights across Europe increased by a third (34%). This is worrying as it shows an increasing trend and can have a direct impact on both the safety of crew and passengers.

That’s why the Irish Aviation Authority is collaborating with other organisations in the Irish aviation sector to put measures in place to reduce these incidents. Even though the number of unruly passengers is small considering the total number of people flying, the impact of their actions can have a disproportionate effect both on the smooth operation of the flight and more importantly on its safety.’

Photo by Holgi/Pixabay (Pixabay licence)


Antoinette Tyrrell is a writer and journalist who started her career in print and broadcast journalism in Ireland. An English and History graduate of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, she worked for 11 years in corporate public relations for Irish Government bodies in the Foreign Direct Investment and Energy sectors.

She is the founder of GoWrite, a business writing and public relations consultancy. Her work has appeared in a range of national and international media and trade publications. She is also a traditionally published novelist of commercial fiction.

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