TorontoMinister Collenettes announcement of locking the cockpit door does not resolve the problem of air rage, said Frano0069s Bellemare, President of the Airline Division of CUPE. We dont want people to be lulled into a false sense of security. A locked cockpit door is not a deterrent to air rage, added Bellemare.
While the Ministers announcement of locked cockpit doors may prevent the most extreme examples of violence in the air, it is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. Air rage has been studied by Transport Canada since 1995. The Transport Canada Working Group has tabled its recommendations in June 2000. Its time for the Minister to get moving on our six point action plan to deal with air rage in a comprehensive and effective manner, added Bellemare.
These points include:
- Amendments to the Criminal Code to create a new offence that would prohibit interference with a crew member.
- Vigorous enforcement of this new law by the police and the courts.
- A public awareness program for the traveling public to make it clear that interference with crew members compromises safety and it is dangerous.
- The development of a treaty under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to deal with abusive passengers internationally.
- The implementation of air carrier zero tolerance programs to prevent and minimize incidents of air rage to protect the health and safety of crew members.
- The establishment of clear sanctions to deal with air rage, at the air carrier level, including the denial of carriage (or blacklisting) for serious offenders.
We are the front line workers that deal with air rage. Flight attendants must be involved in any plan to counter air rage, and this must happen quickly, concluded Bellemare.
Frano0069s Bellemare President, Airline Division of CUPE
Catherine Louli CUPE Communications
(613) 237-1590, ext. 268