Russian planes may have CCTVs

Moscow, Feb 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A group of Russian lawmakers has introduced a bill to equip planes with cameras in a bid to crack down on bad in-flight behaviour by drunken passengers.

A string of recent brawls caused by Russian airline passengers prompted calls for a crackdown on on-board drinking.

In a recent incident caught on camera, 54-year-old Sergei Kabalov started to behave violently while drunk on board an Egypt-bound airliner, punching one male passenger on the nose, striking a flight attendant and trying to break into the cockpit.

A criminal case was launched against him for attempted plane hijacking and assault, and he faces up to 12 years in prison.

A group of lawmakers, who split from the State Duma's A Just Russia faction, say their bill will boost in-flight safety as cameras will act as a psychological deterrent for potential troublemakers.

Footage can also help passengers and air carriers resolve potential disputes.

"Illegal actions onboard an aircraft pose a great threat to society, as they can lead to an accident and casualties," the bill's authors said.

State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov said cameras alone were not enough to solve the problem of alcohol-fuelled mid-air conflicts and brawls.

He said air carriers should also be responsible for public security onboard.

"Cameras alone are not enough to solve the problem. Air carriers are charged with maintaining order, and they can install cameras without any special law," said Neverov, a member of the ruling United Russia party.

He added that if obliged to equip planes with CCTV cameras, air carriers might raise ticket prices.

The deputy speaker suggested blacklists of troublemakers and in-flight alcohol sale limits as measures to crack down on bad behaviour onboard.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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