To check growing instances of unruly in-flight behaviour by passengers, airlines around the world have decided to work jointly on steps to check the menace.
A resolution to this effect was adopted unanimously at the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) 70th Annual General Meeting, which concluded here, calling on governments and industry to work together on a balanced package of measures to effectively deter and manage the significant problem of unruly air passenger behaviour.
Such behaviour includes committing physical assault, disturbing good order on board or failing to follow lawful crew instructions.
The significant decision, however, comes four years after India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) came out with directions to airlines to promptly report such behaviour and incidents to it without delay or further action. Since then, several such passengers have been arrested on the ground by the police or airport security personnel.
"This resolution confirms the determination of airlines to defend the rights of their passengers and crew. Everybody on board is entitled to enjoy a journey free from abusive or other unacceptable behaviour," Tony Tyler, IATA's Director General and CEO, said at the summit-level conference here.
"Many airlines have trained both ground staff and cabin crew in procedures not only to manage incidents of unruly behaviour but also in measures to prevent them. But a robust solution needs alignment among airlines, airports, and governments," he said.
The adoption of the resolution follows a diplomatic conference called by UN agency International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at which governments agreed to modernise and strengthen the Tokyo Convention of 1963.
The result, known as the Montreal Protocol 2014, provides a more practically effective deterrent to unruly behaviour by extending the legal jurisdiction for such events to the territory in which the aircraft lands.
"Governments have recognised that unruly passenger behaviour is a serious issue and we applaud the adoption of the resolution at an ICAO Diplomatic Conference earlier this year. Now, governments must ratify what they have agreed to," said Tyler.
The definition of unruly behaviour is wide and includes non-compliance with crew instructions, consumption of illegal narcotics, sexual harassment and physical or verbal confrontation or threats.
In 2013, the number of incidents of unruly behaviour voluntarily reported to IATA by airlines reached some 8,000 cases.
Intoxication, often resulting from alcohol already consumed before boarding, ranks high among factors linked to these incidents.
Other causes include irritation with another passenger's