In recent years the incidences of passenger interference with cabin crew members has increased dramatically. American Airlines reported 140 assaults on Flight Attendants alone in 1995. This equals a 33% increase from the previous year*. United Airlines has also reported an increase in the number of verbal and physical assaults on its cabin staff, increasing from 77 to 94 during the same period*.
*According to a just published report by the Flight Safety Foundation, Alexandria, Va. on carbon sheet supply
An analysis of the problem by Northwest Airlines, revealed that intoxication was the cause in approximately 25% of all cases. Possible solutions cited include providing specific alcohol and drug related ‘Denied Boarding’ guidelines for Check-In and Gate Staff, and printing caution notices in in-flight magazines and ticket wallets. Further action has brought in role-play training, to enable staff to better defuse abusive behaviour.
In 1999 we have already seen a number of potentially dangerous and certainly costly incidents of passenger violence. The much publicised story of the 12 passengers who were deplaned at Norfolk, VA, following rowdy and threatening behaviour, is only the most recent incident that FlightVu Witness could have prevented. The recordings could also have served to prevent any legal action by the passengers claiming wrongful identification, and would have established the exact chain of events leading to the incident.
The FlightVu Witness system would assist Aircrew and Attendants by providing them with a low-cost, on-board CCTV security system. Serving four basic functions:
It would act as a deterrent.
The crew will be able to monitor the passengers behaviour, and thus will be warned of potentially dangerous situations.
The video information could be used to bring legal proceedings against the offender.
The videos can be used to help train cabin crew to deal with violent passengers.