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    Jan 20, 2016

    S. Korea toughens aviation rules after 'nut-rage' incident


    SOUTH Korea brought a new "anti-nut rage" law into effect yesterday that was prompted by an angry outburst by the daughter of Korean Air's boss over a bag of macadamias.

    The revised aviation law, which drastically toughens punishments for unruly passengers, was a direct result of the "nut rage" incident by Cho Hyun Ah in December 2014, the Transportation Ministry said.

    Under the new law, anyone who disturbs the pilot during a flight could face up to five years in prison or a 50-million-won (S$59,600) fine. In the past, the same offence incurred only a five-million-won fine without the risk of a jail term.

    Under the new law, crew members are obliged to hand over unruly passengers to authorities and risk a 10-million-won fine for failing to do so.

    Ms Cho served five months in jail before walking free in May last year, after an appeals court overturned her conviction for violating aviation safety laws.

    As the plane was taxiing to the runway, the 41-year-old, sitting in first class, became enraged when a flight attendant served her some nuts in a bag, rather than on a plate.

    She lambasted the chief steward over the behaviour of his cabin crew and then ordered the plane back to the gate so he could be ejected.