The regulation referred to is part of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) (Section 3, Series ‘M’, Part I), which lays down “regulations for the carriage of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility by air to save them against discrimination and to ensure that they obtain all possible service during their journey”.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation
The three-member team deputed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to probe Saturday’s incident at the Ranchi airport, where IndiGo staff allegedly denied boarding to a specially-abled kid, will look into the operational and legal aspects, including the applicability of the “regulations for the carriage of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility“, a senior government official revealed.
“Especially, the applicability of the regulation detailing conditions for the carriage of persons with disability or persons with reduced mobility will be reviewed,” told the official. “Whether it was observed or not will be decided by the probe. In case of any defects on the part of the airline staff, there are provisions to penalize the airline,” the official told. The fact-finding team is expected to submit its information by May 16.
The regulation referred to is part of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) (Section 3, Series ‘M’, Part I), which lays down “regulations for the carriage of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility by air to protect them against discrimination and to confirm that they welcome all possible assistance during their journey”.
“No airline shall deny to carry persons with disability or reduced mobility and their assistive aids/ devices, escorts, and guide dogs including their presence in the cabin, provided such persons or their representatives, at the time of booking, announce the airline of their need(s),” it states. It also states that “before refusing carriage to any person on the basis of disability, the airline shall specify in writing the basis of such refusal indicating its opinion that transportation of such persons would or might be inimical to the security of flight”.
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The CAR defines a “person with a disability” as “any individual who has a physical or mental impairment” on a permanent or temporary basis that limits one or more major life activities.
The three-member team will visit Ranchi and Hyderabad, where the child’s parents are based, to collect evidence. “The team will speak with the passengers concerned, and collect video evidence from Ranchi airport to better understand how the events unfolded,” said the official.
IndiGo spokesperson detailed the company’s staff training
Responding to queries, an IndiGo spokesperson detailed the company’s staff training program. “All customer-facing employees at IndiGo undergo a mandatory disability sensitization program… All employees undergo a mandatory refresher every two years on disability assistance,” said the spokesperson.
The airline did not respond to queries on whether it considered the CAR regulations on “carriage of persons with disabilities” and if it had received any communication from the DGCA regarding its report on the incident.
In a report on Monday, the airline’s CEO, Ronojoy Dutta, had told the company was of the view “that we made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances”.
“Throughout the check-in and boarding process our intent, of course, was to take the family. However, at the boarding area, the teenager was visibly in panic. While providing courteous and compassionate service to our customers is of paramount importance to us, the airport staff, in line with the safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision,” Dutta had told.
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