Call to protect crews as air rage incidents grow

Airline HR professionals are calling for a tough stance on disruptive
passengers as figures show that violent incidents onboard aircraft are on the
rise.

The number of incidents reported to the Civil Aviation Authority totalled
1,250 during 2000-2001. Violence was involved in 11 per cent of incidents, with
alcohol and smoking identified as the two main causes.

Cabin crew are at much greater risk of violence than other passengers, the
report by the Department of Transport claims, and staff need extensive training
on how to deal with difficult passengers.

Allan Booth, chief safety training officer for Monarch Airlines, said,
"We have a duty to protect our crew and train in conflict management so
they can protect themselves in a hostile environment.

Monarch Airlines sends all its aircrew on conflict management courses to
equip them to deal with violent incidents. The instructors who train flight
crew are sent on a three-day training programme on conflict management run by
Securicare.

"We have protocols and procedures which give best practice to deal with
the neanderthals that sometimes get on our aircraft," said Booth.

The report also said 141 passengers were prevented from boarding aircraft
last year as they were considered a risk.

Dominic Paul, director of people services and business development for Go,
said the best way to protect staff was to prevent potentially disruptive
individuals from boarding aircraft.

"The safety of passengers and crew is paramount. Before the flight
takes off, if the ground staff, cabin or flight crew believe a passenger could
compromise safety or be a threat, then they won’t let them fly."

By Katie Hawkins

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