The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Friday said that airlines must not prevent passengers with disability or reduced mobility from boarding a flight without consulting a doctor, PTI reported.
The authority said it has amended its regulations in order to make air travel more accessible for persons with special needs.
“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 aviation regulator’s statement read.
If an airline decides to prevent a disabled passenger from boarding a flight, it has to inform the passenger about it in writing, the regulator said. The airline also has to mention the reasons for doing so.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had proposed a change in rules on air travel on June 3, nearly a month after a boy with special needs was barred from boarding an IndiGo flight.
The regulator had also asked citizens to send their opinions on the proposed amendment by July 2, reported PTI.
On May 8, IndiGo staff members did not let the child board a Ranchi-Hyderabad flight, claiming that he was “uncontrollable and in a state of panic”, according to Manisha Gupta, a passenger.
In her Facebook post, she said that the staff members had described the boy as a risk to other passengers and that he would have to “become normal” before travelling. The airline did not let him board the flight even though other passengers had said that they had no objections, Gupta added.
In a statement, IndiGo had claimed that the ground staff waited for the child to calm down till the last minute, but it did not happen. Gupta, however, claimed that the child had calmed down and was ready to board the flight.
On May 9, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said that appropriate action would be taken against IndiGo.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on May 28 imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the airline.