Published: 07.06.2023

Joint Declaration on Unruly Passengers at Airports and on Flights

Most travellers are good passengers who show respect for their fellow passengers and aviation employees. However, serious incidents related to unruly passengers have increased.

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In this regard, the CAA Norway, Avinor, Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries, HK Norge, Norwegian Cabin Association, Norwegian Pilot Federation, Parat Cabin Federation, Pilot Federation Parat, Haugesund Airport Karmøy, Torp Sandefjord Airport, Aviator, Menzies, WGH, SGH, Norwegian, SAS, Norse, and Widerøe have decided to cooperate to come up with joint solutions and measures to reduce and manage incidents related to unruly passengers. IATA and EASA support the collaboration.

The companies are already addressing the issue, but we hope that we can help reduce incidents with unruly passengers through collaboration and coordination. We will, therefore, develop and implement best practices and guidelines to prevent and handle such incidents to the greatest extent possible, ensuring the safety of employees and passengers on the job and during travel.

We who sign this declaration have collectively taken on the responsibility of actively promoting good passenger behaviour and continuously working to reduce the number of unruly passenger incidents. These can have a negative impact on flight safety and the safety of employees.

Communication: Communication with passengers is crucial in preventing incidents with unruly passengers. It is important to make the guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable onboard aircraft and at airports clear to travellers. We will collectively create a campaign targeting the unruly passenger problem.

Training: Staff training is important to handle unruly passengers efficiently and safely. This includes training in conflict management, defusing a heated situation, and enforcing a ”zero-tolerance” policy.

Alcohol and other substances: Alcohol and other substances are among the most significant factors leading to passengers becoming unruly onboard aircraft. Therefore, it is important to have clear rules and limitations on alcohol consumption at airports and on planes and to inform passengers clearly about these rules.

Cooperation: Through collaboration and coordination, we will work to reduce incidents with unruly passengers on flights and airports. Therefore, all players in the industry must cooperate closely to develop and implement best practices and guidelines to prevent and handle such incidents.

With this declaration, we set a common goal that we, as a community, contribute positively to decreasing the number of unruly passenger incidents.

We will together commit ourselves to the following:

• Both employees and travellers should know that we do not accept behaviour that can jeopardize the safety of employees and travellers.
• We will contribute information directed towards travellers to promote good passenger behaviour.
• We will inform the travellers about the consequences of unwanted behaviour at airports and on planes.
• We will contribute to developing information that directly addresses the unruly passenger problem.

Responsibility and Training:
• Employees who experience being harassed by passengers will receive support and care from their own company in connection with a possible legal process through the companies’ internal guidelines.
• We will promote competency-based training programs aimed at employees’ role in handling unruly passengers and ensure that training is given in these areas.
• This declaration will be made known to employees and management in the companies.
• Employees will be given training in established reporting routines and how to report incidents afterwards.
• All parties will ensure that reports from unruly incidents are submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Alcohol and Drugs:
• Alcohol and other drugs are currently the main causes of unruly passenger incidents onboard aircraft.
• We will actively work to raise awareness among employees of their special responsibility when serving alcohol to travellers at airports and onboard aircraft.
• We will inform travellers of the consequences if one becomes excessively intoxicated, by the possibility of being denied boarding and the ability to travel.
• We will clearly and effectively communicate to passengers the rules and restrictions on alcohol consumption and the use of other drugs onboard aircraft.

Cooperation between the Parties:
• The Civil Aviation Authority will be the point of contact for the follow-up of the declaration.
• We will work to ensure that all aviation operators establish and evaluate procedures to prevent unruly passengers from getting onboard the aircraft.
• The project group will be responsible for reporting the status of unruly passengers in aviation to the Civil Aviation Authority’s tripartite working environment forum.
• To ensure the follow-up of the declaration, we commit ourselves to holding annual meetings and arrange ad hoc meetings as needed.