British Airways today supported calls by union chiefs for governments across the world to introduce tough measures to crackdown on ‘air rage’.
The International Transport Workers Federation has earmarked Thursday 6 July as a global day of action against violence in the air. Members of the world-wide union are using the day to raise awareness of its ‘zero air rage’ campaign. In the UK, the Transport and General Workers Union is supporting the call to action.
The UK Government has been quick to react to calls from British Airways and other UK airlines to legislate against violent and disruptive behaviour towards flight and cabin crew. The unions wants other governments to follow suit.
In addition, the unions are urging airlines to adopt policies for dealing with ‘air rage’ and calling on the industry as a whole to work with law enforcement agencies to implement an integrated strategy for preventing and managing disruptive behaviour by air travellers.
British Airways has led the industry in the field of ‘air rage’. The airline represents all UK carriers on the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions’ (DETR) ‘air rage’ working group which includes other industry bodies, unions and the police. Last year, it was instrumental in pushing for the introduction of new UK legislation which makes it illegal for anyone to act in a threatening matter on board an aircraft.
In April, the airline submitted a proposal to the international aviation body, ICAO, with the support of the UK Government, urging foreign governments to introduce domestic laws that allow for prosecutions to be made.
David Hyde, British Airways’ Director of Safety and Security, said: “There can never be any excuse or justification for violence. When you are 35,000 feet in the air, violence threatens not only one person but hundreds of lives.
“Fortunately these incidents are rare, but they must be stopped and we will continue to support measures to protect our staff and customers and strengthen the power of the worldwide criminal justice system.”