Seeking to clear the air on physically challenged people undertaking air travel, the government has framed a detailed guideline which also says that airline cannot refuse to fly them.
Airlines and airports have been asked to provide all required facilities and assistance to meet the needs of the disabled and make them public through their websites within three months from now.
The rules also make it compulsory for the airlines and airports to provide necessary training to their staff to assist such passengers.
“Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has issued procedure for screening of passengers and luggage. The procedure for screening of persons with special needs including differently -abled and passengers with medical condition, has been described in the circular.
“All airport operators should make special arrangements to facilitate screening of persons with special needs… So that the process is carried out efficiently keeping the dignity and privacy of the passenger in mind while ensuring adequate level of screening.
“This will include provision of suitable enclosed space for private screening of passengers covered in this standard operating proceedure,” the government said in a release today.
The airlines have been asked to make provisions for guide dogs accompanying persons with disabilities “subject to the condition that they are properly trained, remain on floor at the passenger’s feet, properly harnessed and vaccinated”.
In a new Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), aviation regulator DGCA has also asked airlines not to insist on medical certificates or special forms from such persons who wish to travel without an escort.
Such certificates should be sought only when such a traveller has some disease or there is a possibility of aggravation of medical condition during flight, among other things, the CAR says.
“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 said.
Apart from giving information on the facilities required by such a passenger during ticket booking, the concerned traveller would have to again inform the airline 48 hours before the flight about his or her specific nature and level of special assistance required while embarking, disembarking and in-flight.
“In case of a passenger having difficulty in walking or standing, the way his or her screening is conducted will depend on his or her level of ability/disability,” the government release quoting the circular said.
ref : http://www.business-standard.com