Soon, passports or Aadhaar cards will become a mandatory ID required while taking domestic flights
Thanks to Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, you may soon need to offer your Aadhaar card or passport to board a domestic flight. So far, a driver's license has been an acceptable form of ID to fly within the country, passports have not been sought.
But after Mr Gaikwad went nuclear on an Air India manager with a torrent of abuse and a self-confessed slipper attack, the government is moving to introduce a No-Fly list of unruly passengers who will be barred from boarding flights. Mr Gaikwad has inspired this in two ways: airlines retaliated by refusing to fly him at all, objected to by his party and others as over-reach and the Civil Aviation Ministry decided that to avoid a blanket ban in the future, a roster of problematic passengers will be collated; secondly, Mr Gaikwad claimed that other passengers with the same name as his ran into trouble with airlines mistakenly cancelling their tickets instead of his.
So the government now wants a fool-proof identification process and believe that airline staff will find it easier to check a passport or Aadhaar card to distinguish between troublemakers and genuine passengers even if they have the same name.
The ministry will put these proposals on its websites for all the stakeholders including airlines and passengers to comment before taking a final call.
Along with the No Fly List, the Ministry also plans to introduce a system of graded punishment for unruly passengers depending on the severity of offence.
On Friday, Air India ended its ban on Mr Gaikwad upon the orders of the government which said it accepts a letter of "regrets" by the politician, who has markedly refused to apologise to either Air India or the 60-year-old man he assaulted.
Aadhaar is the 12-digit unique ID assigned to each Indian linked to biometrics including fingerprints and iris, or retina scans.