New Delhi: If an airline feels a disabled passenger’s health is likely to deteriorate during a flight, it must consult a doctor at the airport and take an “appropriate decision” on whether boarding should be denied to the flyer or not, aviation regulator DGCA said on Friday.
If the airline then decides to deny boarding to the disabled passenger, it will have to immediately inform the passenger in writing and mention the reasons in that note, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.
The regulator had proposed the aforementioned regulations on June 3, six days after it had imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on IndiGo for denying boarding to a disabled boy 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 DGCA had asked the public to send their comments on the proposed amendments by July 2.
In a statement on Friday, the DGCA said it has amended its regulations to improve the accessibility of boarding and flying for disabled people.
The amended regulations stated that the airline must not refuse boarding to any passengers on the basis of disability or reduced mobility.
“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 in person – who shall in his/her opinion, categorically state the medical condition and whether the passenger is fit to fly or not,” the amended regulations mentioned.
After obtaining the medical opinion, the airline shall take an appropriate decision on the carriage of such passenger, it noted.
“In case of refusal of carriage by the airline, it shall inform the passenger in writing with the reasons therein immediately, it mentioned.
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta had on May 9 expressed regret over the May 7 incident and offered to buy an electric wheelchair for the disabled boy.
Dutta had said the airline staff took the best possible decision under difficult circumstances.
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.
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