13 April 2023: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomes the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ratification of the Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14), a move that will strengthen the global legal deterrent against unruly and disruptive passenger incidents onboard flights.
“IATA welcomes the leadership shown by the UAE in ratifying MP14. Not only will this give the UAE authorities important new powers in dealing with unruly passengers that land in the country, but as a major aviation market and ICAO Council member, it will also encourage other States to ratify MP14. Ensuring greater international harmonization and strengthening the legal deterrent against unruly and disruptive passengers who pose a threat to passenger and crew wellbeing and safety onboard is a priority for the entire airline industry,” said Kamil Al-Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President Africa & Middle East.
Effective from 1 May, authorities in the UAE will have the jurisdiction to manage unruly and disruptive passengers that land in the country, irrespective of where the aircraft is registered. This resolves an existing gap in international aviation law that often results in those accused of unruly behavior from being prosecuted for their misbehavior. In a survey, 60% of IATA member airlines cited lack of jurisdiction is a key factor for why prosecutions do not proceed.
Unruly and disruptive passenger incidents on board flights include physical assault, harassment, smoking or failing to follow crew instructions. These incidents may compromise flight safety, cause significant delays and operational disruption, and adversely impact the travel experience and work environment for passengers and crew.
The UAE is the 44th State to ratify MP14 and it is estimated that more than a third of international traffic is covered by States that are parties to it. Important aviation markets in the Middle East region have led the way in ratifying this important treaty. In addition to the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar have ratified MP14, representing 16% of the total States that are parties.