ICAO To Accelerate The Ratification Of The International Unruly Air Passenger Treaty

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In response to the increase in incidents of unruly passenger behavior on international flights being reported by regulators and airlines, the International Civil Aviation Organisation has issued “an urgent call to Member States to fast-track the ratification of the 2014 Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montréal Protocol 2014 or MP14).”

According to ICAO, “states that have not already done so are urged to ratify the treaty and use the suite of tools developed by ICAO and industry to address this issue and thereby ensure passengers have a safe and comfortable flight experience, flight crews are working in a healthy work environment, and costly flight diversions are avoided.”

One of the duties of ICAO is to “set aviation safety, security, and sustainability standards that enable States to align their regulatory frameworks, thereby accelerating their progress towards their priorities in these areas.”

In addition, “ICAO brings together of States to draft and adopt international treaties on issues of global concern such as dealing with unruly and disruptive conduct on board aircraft. ICAO is not an aviation regulator or international law enforcement authority.”

ICAO says: “Since its adoption on 4 April 2014, MP14 has sought to remedy jurisdictional gaps that hinder the effective prosecution of offences occurring on international flights.”

Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the ICAO Council said: “On the tenth anniversary of MP14, it is crucial that Member States reinforce their commitment to safe air travel by ratifying this essential treaty. The global spike in unruly passenger incidents is not just a matter of passenger comfort—it’s a safety and security risk that requires an immediate, coordinated response.”

The Protocol has been ratified by 47 States from all regions of the world and entered into force on 1 January 2020.

ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar said: “In addition to urging States that have not already done so to ratify the 2014 Montréal Protocol, ICAO is also encouraging governments to use the suite of tools developed by ICAO and industry partners to prevent and respond to unruly passenger crimes. All passengers are entitled to a safe and comfortable flight experience, flight crew have the right to a conducive working environment, and we all benefit from the avoidance of costly and wasteful flight diversions.”

ICAO says the organization has also “adopted Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) with respect to unruly and disruptive behaviour, which are now inscribed in the Convention’s Annex 17 — Security — Safeguarding International Civil Aviation Against Acts of Unlawful Interference and Annex 9 — Facilitation.”

The implementation of these SARPs is supported by a wide variety of ICAO guidance material.

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