IATA announces improvements to tackle unruly passengers

The International Air Transport Association has announced the entry into force on January 1, 2020, of Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14) to tackle unruly passengers, the company said.

MP14 enhances the capacity of states to curb the escalation in the severity and frequency of unruly behavior on board aircraft. This follows the Nov. 26, 2019 ratification of MP14 by Nigeria, the 22nd state to do so.

MP14, properly named the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, is a global treaty that strengthens the powers of states to prosecute unruly passengers. It closes a legal gap under the Tokyo Convention 1963, whereby jurisdiction over offenses committed on board international flights rests with the state where the aircraft is registered. This causes issues when unruly passengers are delivered to the authorities upon landing in foreign territories.

Unruly and disruptive passenger incidents on board flights include physical assault, harassment, smoking or failing to follow crew instructions. These incidents may compromise flight safety, cause significant delays and operational disruption and adversely impact the travel experience and work environment for passengers and crew.

MP14 strengthens the deterrent to unruly behavior by enabling prosecution in the state where the aircraft lands.