FIFO workers blamed for unruly behaviour

Fly-in fly-out mining workers have been blamed for presenting a risk of unruly behaviour on flights, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology.

The report ‘Responding to unruly airline passengers’ said intoxication was a significant factor for problem passengers, in a trend which although on the decline, could still be traced to some key risk groups.

The study said indicators could not be predicted on the basis of gender, ethnicity or travel class (economy or business), however groups of passengers such as buck’s or hen’s parties, sporting teams, and fly-in fly-out mine workers were identified as presenting an increased risk.

Employee training and company leadership were cited as ways to reduce poor behaviour on flights, and the report claimed airlines had engaged directly with mining companies to implement strategies such as requiring workers to wear their uniforms on flights to and from work.

“These measures remind employees they are still on duty while flying and reinforce their obligations in relation to substance use,” the report said.

“Roundtable participants saw liaison and collaboration between all parties involved as instrumental in reducing unruly passenger incidents on fly-in fly-out routes.

“Participants also noted that industry-developed profiles of passengers involved in incidents could be used to develop a broader picture of unruly passengers in Australia.”

However, the report also showed that airlines that modified their policies to allow passengers to use their electronic devices had fewer incidences of unruly behaviour, while airlines that had not implemented the change continued to record increasing numbers of incidents.

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