The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “The airline shall not refuse to carry any person on grounds of disability.”
The DGCA notification amends CAR’s section 3, series M, part I, which now states: “ 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.”
“The aim [of the new order] is to set clear rules and that stakeholders identify and term a passenger unruly, after strict analysis of his/ her behaviour,” the DGCA official cited above said, asking not to be named.
The CAR normally defines unruly behaviour as: “Acting in disruptive manner by using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a crew member or other passengers; physically behaving in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a member of the crew or other passengers and/ or intentionally interfering with the performance of a crew member”.
The DGCA official said that in the May 7 incident, the child was quiet in the check-in and security clearance process. “It was only for 30 minutes out of around 130 minutes (that he spent in the airport) that the child was fidgety and cranky but was handled well by his parents. However, the airline decided to not allow boarding by declaring him to be unruly, which should have been avoided,” he added.
A few days later, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia tweeted, “There is zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour. No human being should go through this. I am personally probing the matter, after which appropriate action will be taken.”
The regulator had said at that time that to prevent such situations, it would revisit its rules and bring necessary changes.