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The number of incidents where passengers are exhibiting disruptive or dangerous behaviour is increasing. According to official UK statistics the numbers have risen by 10 per cent between 1999/2000 and 2000/2001 to a total of over twelve hundred incidents. This has been the cause of considerable concern to airlines, aviation organisations and governments. Almost half the incidents involve alcohol. The condition is also aggravated by the stress levels brought about by the cabin environment (see section on Stress).

Prevention : Passengers should be educated particularly on the effects of a drink or drugs at altitude. One drink in the aircraft cabin can be the equivalent of two in a normal environment. The same applies to tranquillisers, cabin pressurisation increase their potency.

The consequences to passengers involved in air rage are severe. In the United States the Federal Aviation Authority are able to levy fines of up to 25,000 US dollars. Putting the crew and passengers at risk is also a criminal offence in both the UK and the USA. The perpetrators of such incidents have recently been given custodial sentences in the UK.

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