Civil Aviation Authority v Gallon [2018] NZDC 4966

Published 15 June 2018

Behaving in a disorderly manner towards a crew member whilst on an aircraft — definition of disorderly manner — verdict — Civil Aviation Act 1990, s 65G (1) (b) — Brooker v Police [2007] 3 NZLR 91. The defendant was charged with behaving in a disorderly manner towards a crew member on a flight between Melbourne and Wellington after he became concerned about the treatment of a baby on board the plane. In finding that the actions of the defendant amounted to behaving in a disorderly manner, the court had regard to the decision of "Brooker"and noted that special regard must be had to the environment on an aircraft and that the charge required the conduct to be directed towards a crew member who has special power and responsibilities in respect of passengers. The court found that for the charge to be proved, the defendant must be proved to have behaved in a way that caused anxiety or disturbance beyond what a reasonable crew member should expect in the context of an aircraft environment. The court drew a comparison between the charge faced by the defendant and the charge of contempt of court. The court found that although the defendant's actions were driven by his genuine concern, and that he did not intend to create anxiety or disturbance, he engaged in conduct that had that effect as he continually acted in defiance of crew instructions and rejected the crew member's authority. The defendant was found guilty of the charge. Judgment Date: 20 March 2017.