“The DGCA rule for air travelers with disabilities is an insult”

Revised Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGCA) rules for air travelers with disabilities that required medical advice to allow them to fly are an ‘insult to injury’ as they confuse disability with ill health, and must be rescinded, demanded disability rights groups.

The aviation safety regulator on Friday amended its Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on air travel – persons with disabilities. Although the rule states that disability cannot be a reason for denial of boarding to a passenger, it does state that if the airline perceives that a passenger’s health may deteriorate during a flight, it must request the opinion of a doctor to find out if this person is fit to fly. or not.

“The DGCA rule penalizes those who are atypical in appearance, communication or behavioral expression by requiring additional screening by the average layperson or healthcare professional who has not been exposed to or educated about disability or even disability. diversity of human experience,” said the Freedom of Movement Coalition (FMC), a pan-India group advocating fairness in transport.

The amendment is inappropriate in its confusion between ill health and disability, and a certificate of fitness discriminates against and targets people with disabilities, while no such requirement was imposed on the general population likely to be ill, said underlined the group.

Rajiv Rajan, executive director of Ektha, an organization for people with disabilities, said the revised rules once again underscored the lack of trust in people with disabilities.

“We would never want to hurt ourselves or anyone else who flies with us. Our families who at least know something about our conditions wouldn’t let us fly either, if they knew we weren’t fit to fly. “said Mr. Ranjan. The Hindu.

“The reality is that ‘disruptions’ or ‘security’ incidents during a flight might be more likely to be babies crying due to ear pain, someone having a heart attack or a passenger drunk being offensive or belligerent. Are we going to give all passengers a breathalyzer and blood pressure test or encourage co-passengers, staff and crew to be flexible and accommodate differences,” the FMC asked.

NGOs said the government should have instead looked at shortcomings in policy implementation for passengers with disabilities, including being transported on stairs in wheelchairs, inaccessible shuttles, inappropriate wheelchairs, loss and damage of wheelchairs and long waits.

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