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Project Disrupt: One Airport’s Solution for Rowdy Passengers

Project Disrupt: One Airport’s Solution for Rowdy Passengers
Jackie Reddy

London’s Gatwick Airport is teaming up with local police in the English county of Sussex to introduce Project Disrupt, an initiative aimed at stemming instances of disruptive passenger behavior at the airport. The summer of 2018 saw 379 instances of aggressive incidents, up from the 48 seen in 2017.

With the number of disruptive incidents on the increase, London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) is taking steps to mitigate the impact of this kind of behavior on its operations, Yahoo reports. Earlier this week, LGW revealed that it is teaming up with police in the English county of Sussex – the locality in which the facility is situated – to introduce Project Disrupt, an initiative intended to halt instances of disruptive passenger behavior.

Project Disrupt will see police patrolling the facility and businesses within the airport will also be encouraged to monitor any aggressive passenger incidents. Additionally, the outlet reports that “The airport is also introducing handheld devices for recording incidents in a streamlined process dedicated to dealing with problems before they escalate.”

Those caught engaging in disruptive behavior could be fined up to £5,000 ($6,584) and be imprisoned for two years.

In the summer of 2018, 379 instances of disruptive behavior were reported at LGW, up from 48 incidents in 2017.

Speaking of the decision to implement this initiative, James Biggs, LGW’s prevention team inspector, said, “While the vast majority of passengers are well-behaved, and travel through the airport and arrive at their destination without a problem, there is a very small minority who ruin it for themselves and for others.”

“By engaging with passengers at the earliest opportunity – through patrols, face to face contact by police and airport staff and the distribution of posters and leaflets – we are making them fully aware of the rules and their own responsibility,” he added.

[Image Source: Shutterstock]

View Comments (10)

10 Comments

  1. mrespbill137

    May 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I suggest passengers causing any disruptions leading to a delayed departure, a return to the gate or an unscheduled landing be fined $100 per passenger and those monies given to said passengers as compensation for the inconvienence. This on top of any other fines or jail time.

  2. Flight44

    May 4, 2019 at 3:39 am

    End the low-price carriers. That’ll solve the majority of the problem.

  3. jhnyflyer

    May 4, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Perhaps if the people at Gatwick and BA were not so abusive there would be fewer disruptive incidents. I remember going from JFK to Toulouse with my 75 year old friend. They made us wait on line for over 2 hours to enter the UK even though we were through passengers. This was solely because BA would not send our luggage through. There were many other people on that line in the same situation. I was furious.

    I have no sympathy for the situation they made for themselves at Gatwick. I try to avoid Gatwick and after I get rid of my BA points, the rest of London as well.

  4. BMGRAHAM

    May 4, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    In line with what @jhnyflyer said, they should look at what is going on to cause the behavior. Bad behavior is inexcusable on both sides

  5. mark_s

    May 5, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Hard to tell what disruptive behavior they’re talking about. However, twice at EDI in Scotland, I encountered smack-talking drunks looking for fights inside the airport. Never encountered that anywhere else in my travels. To those folks, join the Army, show ’em how tough you are. Meanwhile, I might not look it, but I’m age of your fathers, and I’m just trying to get from A to B.

  6. Gigantor

    May 6, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Gatwick = Get air transport where it’s cheaply known

  7. GrayAnderson

    May 6, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Is it just me or does “Project Disrupt” sound like some evil plot to screw up everyone’s travel plans (maybe by flying lots of drones into restricted airspace, since that’s been a thing lately)?

  8. IanFromHKG

    May 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    @jhnflyer, you must have been flying on separate tickets or your luggage would have been checked through and you wouldn’t have had to retrieve it and re-check it – a process which, I might remind you (since you seem to have glossed over this) applies to EVERY through passenger entering ANY airport in the USA on ANY airline. So please don’t blame BA or LGW for being “abusive” for requiring something which you could have avoided, but which no through passenger with luggage entering the US can avoid.

    That is not to say that a two-hour wait to clear immigration is acceptable – it isn’t. Nor was the three-hour wait I once had in DFW to retrieve and re-check my luggage. Nor is the two-hour-plus waits I have had many times going into JFK. Nor was the 3.5-hour wait I once had to get through security on trying to *depart* LAX.

    These delays happen EVERYWHERE. However, I respect your decision to avoid BA and London. That’s your prerogative. It just a shame that it seems to be based on a rather one-sided view of the issue.

  9. fairhsa

    May 11, 2019 at 7:11 am

    I think that jhnyflyer makes a much more generic point though. If airlines and airports spent a bit of time thinking about WHY people get frustrated and upset, then there would be much fewer instances of disruption. And that includes general policy like customs and checking baggage. It’s not all about minimising costs. Air travel must be one of the few industries where focus on the passenger is so low! Most industries market with the customer as the central figure, not a byproduct!

  10. j2simpso

    May 13, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Those arguing that low cost fares necessarily cause rowdy passengers I remind you of several instances where elite travellers lost their marbles:

    Drunk BlackBerry Exec causes diversion on AC flight : https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ex-rim-exec-whose-drunken-antics-caused-plane-diversion-deported/article9988338/

    KE CEO Nut Rage incident : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_rage_incident

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