A Vietnamese woman subject to a six-month flight ban successfully boarded an international flight departing from Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport last month, raising eyebrows at the current security system’s failure to stop her from flying.
Pham Thu Thuy, 36, a resident of Hai Duong Province, northern Vietnam, was able to board an Aeroflot plane headed to Moscow, Russia from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on January 3, despite being handed an official suspension from flying between September 16, 2017 and March 15, 2018 by Vietnam’s aviation authorities.
The woman forfeited her right to fly after quarreling with a fellow female passenger aboard an SU 291 flight operated by the same airline on a Russia-bound flight on August 16, 2017.
Thuy then received a financial penalty and had her name added to a no-fly list managed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
The no-fly list extended to both domestic and foreign airlines. Customs and police, as well as airport officials, are also called upon to thwart any attempts of individuals on the list to board a plane during the ban.
In Thuy’s case, customs and police only became aware of the getaway after she safely landed in Moscow.
How Thuy was able to pass through airport control remains a mystery, according to To Tu Hung, an official at the aviation body.
“A conclusion on whether the case was due to professional negligence and incompetence or due to complicity requires further investigation,” he said.
The official affirmed that the primary responsibility rests with Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority, adding that the failure of both man- and technology-operated controls is unprecedented in Vietnam.
He also admitted that imperfections in the present data connectivity between relevant agencies could be behind the failure to recognize black-list passengers if their identification documents are altered.
An aviation expert said that travelers pass through the following stages before boarding a flight: purchasing boarding passes; checking in at the airport counter; passing through security; undergoing a customs check; going through ticket checks by airline employees; and undergoing observation by the airport authority.