Airlines cannot refuse to fly people with disability: Aviation regulator | Business Standard News

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An airline that regards a specially abled passenger’s health must consult a doctor at the airport: DGCA.


Airlines “shall not” refuse to fly a person with disability and take a doctor’s opinion, said India’s aviation on Friday in amended rules issued almost a week after it fined low-cost carrier IndiGo Rs 5 lakh for not allowing a boy with special needs to board a flight from Ranchi.

An airline that regards a specially abled passenger’s health must consult a doctor at the airport and take an “appropriate call” on boarding, said on Friday the draft rules issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

IndiGo, on May 9, said a boy was denied permission to board the Ranchi-Hyderabad flight as he was visibly in panic. After he was not allowed to board, his parents also decided not to enter the plane. Ronojoy Dutta, the airline’s CEO, has expressed regret over the incident.

The DGCA, on May 28, said that in order to avoid such situations in the future, it would revisit its own regulations. Its draft rules now say: “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, PTI reported.

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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