This comes just six days after the DGCA imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on IndiGo airline for denying boarding to a child with disability at Ranchi airport on May 7.

Aircraft parked at airportpti /Representative image
news Aviation Saturday, June 04, 2022 - 12:40

If an airline feels a specially abled passenger's health is likely to deteriorate during a flight, it must consult a doctor at the airport and take an "appropriate call" on whether boarding should be denied to the flyer or not, the draft rules issued by the DGCA said on Friday. The proposal to issue new rules has come just six days after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on IndiGo airline for denying boarding to a child with disability at Ranchi airport on May 7.

IndiGo had on May 9 said the boy was denied permission to board the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight as he was visibly in panic. After the boy was prohibited from boarding, his parents also decided not to enter the plane.

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

Moreover, the DGCA had said the new regulations would make sure that there is also a written consultation with the captain of the aircraft for his or her opinion on allowing such a passenger on board.

The draft rules issued by the DGCA on Friday stated: "Airline shall not refuse carriage of any person on the basis of disability." 

"However, in case, an airline perceives that the health of such a passenger may deteriorate in-flight, the said passenger will have to be examined by a doctor who shall categorically state the medical condition and whether the passenger is fit to fly or not. After obtaining the medical opinion, the airline shall take the appropriate call," it mentioned.

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

After the Ranchi incident, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta had said that the company will conduct an internal case study on how to better handle disabled passengers, especially when they are feeling distressed. 

Dutta had on May 9 expressed regret over the incident and offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the disabled child. Dutta had said the airline staff took the best possible decision under difficult circumstances.

The regulator had said that special situations deserve extraordinary responses, but the airline's staff failed to rise up to the occasion, and in the process, committed lapses in adherence to the letter and spirit of the Civil Aviation Requirements (regulations). 

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

Watch: TNM's Let Me Explain show where Anna Isaac tells you about the new evidence in the Dileep case.

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