Tokyo Convention 1963
The Tokyo Convention (1963) governs offences and other acts that occur onboard aircraft inflight. It came in to force in 1969. This 50 year old Convention has served the industry well. However, it is now in urgent need of revision to ensure that it remains fit for purpose and reflects the realities of the modern aviation industry.
In the period 2008-2011 there were over 15,000 reported cases of unruly passenger incidents which threaten the safety of aircraft, passengers and crew.
These incidents inconvenience other passengers and leads to significant operational disruption and cost for airlines - an unscheduled landing to disembark an unruly passenger is usually borne by the airlines and can cost USD 200,000.
IATA and its member airlines have developed guidance and training that aim to prevent unruly behavior and to manage situations effectively when they arise. However, there is also an urgent need to ensure that the international legal framework is fit for purpose, both to deal with the perpetrators and to act as a deterrent to future instances of unruly behavior.
Our position on Tokyo Convention
In 2009, IATA led calls for ICAO to revise the Tokyo Convention (1963) that governs offences and other acts that occur onboard aircraft inflight to ensure that it reflects the realities of the contemporary aviation industry.
Following significant work by the ICAO Legal Committee, a proposed revised text was submitted to the ICAO Council who agreed to convene a Diplomatic Conference, a decision which was endorsed by the recent 38th ICAO Assembly.
The Conference will take place in March 2014 and for states to review and adopt proposed changes. The proposed revision of the Tokyo Convention will benefit all parties:
- It will close jurisdictional gaps so that unruly passengers are subject to prosecution
- It will act as a strong deterrent to future instances of unruly behavior
Guidance on Unruly Passenger Prevention and Management
Postion paper: Reform on Tokyo Convention 1963 (pdf)
The Tokyo Convention 1963 (pdf)
Draft Protocol (pdf)