Fines, jail for passengers who fail to comply with pilot's orders: CAAS

The rule has been in place since 1969.

Ilyda Chua | November 17, 2022, 06:56 PM

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You may have seen this video about a Scoot flight that delayed its landing because of passengers who refused to fasten their seatbelts.

Responding to Mothership's queries, Alan Foo — Senior Director (Safety Regulation Group) at the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) — said that incidents which involve an individual failing to comply with a pilot's instructions can result in fines or even imprisonment.


In the video posted on Nov. 14, the captain of the Scoot flight announced that the plane had discontinued its descent into Changi Airport, as several passengers had not fastened their seatbelts.

"We are legally not able to land an aircraft if the cabin isn't secured," he said.

Pilots must ensure passengers' safety

Seatbelts minimise the risk of injury and significantly improve survivability in the event of an accident during landing.

As such, it is the responsibility of the pilot-in-command to ensure that the aircraft cabin is secure before landing, said Foo.

This includes ensuring that passengers are seated with their seatbelts fastened.

Fines, jail for non-compliant passengers

Passengers who fail to comply with commands given by the pilot, for the purposes of safety, may be prosecuted.

If found guilty, they may be liable to a fine of up to S$100,000, jailed up to five years, or both.

The requirement to comply with lawful commands of the pilot-in-command has been in place since 1969 — first as part of the Air Navigation Order before being moved to Section 38 of the Air Navigation Act in 2014, Foo told Mothership.

Investigations ongoing

In response to Mothership's queries, Scoot said that investigations are ongoing.

It also urged the public to refrain from "undue speculation" in the meantime.

Top image from Audi Khalid/TikTok and Scoot/Facebook