Flights coming in and out of Ireland could soon be alcohol free in a bid to prevent unpleasant and disruptive behaviour from passengers who ruin the journey for everyone else.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) said the option of banning alcohol is ‘absolutely on the table’.
It comes after the European Union Aviation Safety Agency published a study that showed a flight is disrupted every three hours due to unruly passengers in EU airspace.
Reported incidents have increased by a third since 2017-18.
Paul Brandon is the head of corporate affairs for the IAA. He appeared on the RTE radio show Morning Ireland to discuss the problem of unruly passengers.
He said that while he didn’t particularly want to ban alcohol from flights, it is something that has to be considered if other solutions prove to be unsuccessful.
Brandon said: “It is absolutely on the table. But our preference is to focus on the awareness of the risk if they disrupt a flight.”
The issue has come into focus recently and several high-profile businesses such as Ryanair and Aer Lingus have become involved.
The airlines have joined forces, along with the Commission for Aviation Regulation and others, to get behind the ‘Not On My Flight’ campaign.
The campaign is aimed at tackling air rage incidents and says there is an undeniable link between alcohol consumption and an increase in unpleasant, sometimes violent, behaviour.
Brandon said that currently the key focus of the campaign is to provide better education for passengers.
This includes making them aware of the consequences of becoming a problem for others during flights.
He says that while an alcohol ban is not the immediate focus, campaigners will be watching closely and will ‘see if there is a need for further action’ in the future.
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling