DGCA releases draft guidelines for airlines on flying specially disabled passengers days after IndiGo Imbroglio

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New Delhi: If an airline believes that the health of a specially disabled passenger could deteriorate during a flight, it must consult a doctor at the airport and make an “appropriate call” to find out whether or not the traveler should be denied boarding. , according to draft rules published by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) on Friday. The proposal to issue new guidelines came just six days after the DGCA fined airline IndiGo Rs 5 lakh for denying boarding to a specially disabled child at Ranchi airport.Also Read – Put Passengers on ‘No Fly List’ for COVID-19 Violations: Delhi HC Notifies DGCA

“The airline shall not refuse carriage to any person on the basis of disability,” the draft rules issued by the DGCA state, adding that in the event that an airline perceives that the health of such a passenger may deteriorate in flight, said passenger shall be examined by a doctor who shall state categorically the state of health of the passenger and indicate whether the passenger is fit to fly or not. Also Read – Vistara Airline fined Rs 10 Lakh by DGCA. here’s why

“After obtaining the medical opinion, the airline will take the appropriate call,” he said. Also Read- DGCA Fines SpiceJet Rs 10 Lakh for Faulty Max Plane Pilot Training

The regulator has asked the public to send in their comments on the draft rules by July 2, after which it will publish the final rules.

Why was IndiGo fined by the DGCA?

Civil Aviation watchdog, had fined low-cost carrier IndiGo Rs 5 lakh for denying boarding to a specially disabled child at Ranchi Airport on May 7. The flight to Hyderabad left the child and her parents at Ranchi Airport.

IndiGo said on May 9 that the boy was refused permission to board the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight because he was visibly panicked. After the boy was banned from boarding, his parents also decided not to board the plane.

Additionally, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta also expressed his regret for the incident and offered to purchase an electric wheelchair for the specially disabled child. Dutta said airline staff made the best decision possible under difficult circumstances.

Measures taken so far

The regulator had said on May 28 that in order to avoid such situations in the future, it would reverse its own regulations, requiring airlines to take the written opinion of the airport doctor on the health of a passenger before taking the decision to deny boarding. .

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on May 9 on Twitter that no human should have to go through this and that he was investigating the Ranchi incident himself.

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