Media Release: Passengers advised about behaviour at airports during festive season

Release Date: Wednesday, December 12 2012, 08:18 AM

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is urging travelling passengers to behave appropriately as the Christmas holiday season approaches.

The AFP has responded to more than 1000 alcohol-related incidents at the 10 major airports during the 2011-12 financial year.

Out of those incidents, 145 apprehensions were made for various offences relating to offensive and disorderly behaviour and excessive alcohol consumption.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Shane Connelly said members of the public need to remember that when travelling on an aircraft their behaviour is subject to Australian laws.

“Our officers are responding to far too many instances of aggressive and potentially dangerous behaviour at our airports and on aircraft,” Assistant Commissioner Connelly said.

“The AFP takes aviation security seriously and those who behave violently, inappropriately, or interfere with or assault airline staff can expect to be charged."

"Many instances involve alcohol use. While we want people to enjoy the festive season, the public should consume alcohol responsibly and ensure their behaviour remains safe and appropriate.”

It is an offence under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 to behave in an offensive or disorderly manner on board an aircraft, with the maximum penalty being an $8,500 fine. It is an offence under the Airport (Control of on-Airport Activities) Regulations 1997 to engage in conduct causing public nuisance – being drunk or disorderly at an airport, with the maximum penalty being a fine of $1,700.

Passengers should be aware that if an aircraft has to terminate a flight and return to an airport to off-load an intoxicated or violent passenger, the airline may seek to recover the cost of this diversion through the courts.

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333