Is the No Fly List a good idea?

9/11 gave rise to a multitude of security measures inside and outside the US on a gigantic scale. It bared every nook and cranny which might be used as a loophole in the defense of the country. The US didn’t ignore this fact and prepared a truckload of counter-measures. One of these was the No Fly List. 

The No Fly List is essentially a list of people who aren’t allowed to board planes due to various security reasons. They are considered a threat to the flight and they can’t avail air transportation at any cost. This was first implemented in 2001 in USA to reduce the chances of further security breaches. As the time passed, more and more details were added to the reasons of getting a person into the No Fly List. Several countries adopted it too. And now, India, the 3rd largest aviation market in the world, is going to initiate the same.

How can you land on to the No Fly List?

Except for the regular security threat, there are a few other things to watch out for. If you are drunk on a flight, or are under heavy influence of any narcotic substance, you’ll be booked as a No Fly person. Smoking during a flight also makes you eligible for the No Fly List. Furthermore, causing trouble with the crew/co-passengers also earns you a place in the list. Disobeying Captain on a flight also deprives you from flying again.

How does it work?

If you are involved in any incidents like those mentioned above, your PNR is taken into account. The ID you used to travel is then identified with the PNR and your access to air travel is blocked.

Is it a good idea?

India might implement it soon. But the answer to this question remains a mystery. A textbook answer would be strongly in favour. It might even be asked why India didn’t create a list sooner. It’ll definitely lead us towards a safe flying experience, will help us enjoy our journey and will also root out the ‘troublemakers’ from the passenger pool.

However, among the 150 million domestic Indian passengers flying in an year, there ought to be a lot of them with common names, and a few with the same credentials. This creates a situation called Fake Positive no fliers. For example, if a name is there in the No Fly list, a passenger with the same name will have to prove he is not the person mentioned in the list by some sort of identity which will be able to successful discriminate him.

Also, it will be troublesome for people to regularly prove that they are who they say they are, and not someone whose name they share. Since the booking of flights and issuing Boarding Passes is done on the basis of names, this is going to be a big obstacle. Also, it might cause a person to lose his chance to travel by air simply because the fault of a co-passenger.

We can’t say anything unless we try it out. But the No Fly List is surely going to leave an impact on the Indian Aviation market. Do you differ?

-Gyan Akarsh

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