Nigeria has become the 22nd state to ratify the Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14) ahead of its entry into force on January 1 2020.

Unruly passengers beware; MP14 set to come into force

MP14, the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, is a global treaty that strengthens the powers of states to prosecute unruly passengers. It closes a legal gap under the Tokyo Convention 1963, whereby jurisdiction over offenses committed on board international flights rests with the state where the aircraft is registered. This causes issues when unruly passengers are delivered to the authorities upon landing in foreign territories. 

Unruly and disruptive passenger incidents include physical assault, harassment, smoking or failing to follow crew instructions. These incidents can compromise flight safety, cause delays and impact the travel and work environment for passengers and crew. 

"The deterrent to unruly behavior is weak," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. "About 60% of offenses go unpunished because of jurisdictional issues. MP14 strengthens the deterrent to unruly behavior by enabling prosecution in the state where the aircraft lands."

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic. De Juniac said more nations should adopt MP14.

"The treaty is in force. But the job is not done. We encourage more states to ratify MP14 so that unruly passengers can be prosecuted according to uniform global guidelines."