scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

IndiGo row: DGCA probe team to look at operational and legal norms

"Specifically, the applicability of the regulation detailing requirements for carriage of persons with disability or persons with reduced mobility will be studied," said the official.

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi |
Updated: May 11, 2022 11:30:46 am
DGCA, Ranchi airport, IndiGo, Gujarat, Gujarat news, Ahmedabad news, Indian express news, Indian express"Whether it was followed or not will be decided by the probe. In case of any shortcomings on the part of the airline staff, there are provisions to penalise the airline," the official said.

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 child, will look into the operational and legal aspects, including the applicability of the “regulations for carriage of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility”, a senior government official told The Indian Express. The official said the detailed fact-finding probe was initiated as the aviation safety regulator was “dissatisfied” with IndiGo’s report on the incident.

“Specifically, the applicability of the regulation detailing requirements for carriage of persons with disability or persons with reduced mobility will be studied,” said the official. “Whether it was followed or not will be decided by the probe. In case of any shortcomings on the part of the airline staff, there are provisions to penalise the airline,” the official said.

The fact-finding team is expected to submit its report 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 carriage of persons with disabilities and reduced mobility by air in order to protect them against any form of discrimination and to ensure that they receive all possible assistance during their travel”.

Best of Express Premium

Skyfall in Gujarat, expert says likely debris of a Chinese rocketPremium
Chaos in Kandla after ban: 4,000 wheat trucks in queue, 4 ships half-fullPremium
Rural pinches more in high inflation statesPremium
Explained: What Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s US visit means for Pakista...Premium

“No airline shall refuse 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, inform the airline of their requirement(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 safety of flight”.

The CAR defines a “person with disability” as “any individual who has a physical or mental impairment” on a permanent or temporary basis that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

The three-member team, comprising members from the DGCA’s departments of air safety, aircraft engineering and legal, will visit Ranchi and Hyderabad, where the child’s parents are based, to collect evidence as part of the probe. “As part of the investigation, 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.

Responding to queries, an IndiGo spokesperson detailed the company’s staff training programme. “All customer-facing employees at IndiGo, during their induction training, undergo a mandatory disability sensitisation programme… 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 statement on Monday, the airline’s CEO, Ronojoy Dutta, had said 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 carry 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 as to whether this commotion would carry forward aboard the aircraft,” Dutta had said.

IndiGo had cited DGCA’s guidelines on “handling of unruly passengers”, specifically two clauses. “Passengers who are likely to be unruly must be carefully monitored, and if deemed to pose a threat to the safety and security of the flight, fellow passengers or staff while on board aircraft, should be refused embarkation or off-loaded,” states one clause.

The other clause states that all airlines shall establish a mechanism “to detect and report unruly passenger behaviour” at check-in, in the lounges, at the boarding gate or any other place in the terminal building in order to “prevent such passengers from boarding”. This clause of CAR also says: “In case of occurrence of an act of unruly behaviour while the aircraft is on ground, such cases shall be reported immediately in writing and First Information Report (FIR) may be lodged with security agency at the aerodrome”.

For all the latest Business News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement