Key Points:

  • South Korea's Transport Ministry is revising its air transport ordinance to include in-flight announcements reminding passengers not to open plane doors.

  • The amendment, prompted by an incident where a passenger opened a plane's emergency exit, also requires the placement of warning stickers and annual training for flight attendants.

  • Current laws in South Korea stipulate severe penalties for disrupting plane operations, including a prison term of up to 10 years for tampering with exits.

Enhancing In-Flight Safety in South Korea

In response to a concerning incident earlier this year, South Korea’s Transport Ministry has announced plans to revise its ordinance governing air transport operations. The key change involves mandating in-flight announcements that specifically remind passengers of the prohibition against opening plane doors during flight. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport is scheduled to pre-announce this revision by December 14, aiming to enhance passenger safety and awareness.

This move comes after an alarming event in May, where a passenger, under extreme stress, opened the emergency exit of an Asiana Airlines flight shortly before its arrival at Daegu International Airport. The incident, which local media labeled as "two minutes of terror," highlighted the need for stricter measures to ensure aviation safety.

Proactive Measures for Aviation Security

The revised ordinance is not just a reminder of the legal implications of such actions but also includes the requirement for aircraft to feature visible warning stickers. Additionally, flight attendants will undergo mandatory annual training, totaling two hours, to better identify passengers exhibiting signs of abnormal behavior.

Presently, airline announcements cover prohibitions against smoking, the use of electronic devices, and disturbances to flight attendants, with violations subject to criminal law.

Under South Korea’s Aviation Security Act, passengers who disrupt the operation of an aircraft by tampering with passenger or emergency exits face severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 10 years.